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All Wisconsin State Schools May Close Down Monday As Extreme And Dangerous Cold Strikes

January 3, 2014

I can not recall this ever having happened before.

Gov. Scott Walker is considering ordering all state schools to be closed Monday because of a forecast of dangerously cold weather, his spokesperson said Friday.

“Our top priority in this situation is the safety of Wisconsin’s school children, and while this has most commonly been an issue for individual districts to decide, Governor Walker will consider this option and continue to closely monitor the situation with the appropriate state agencies,” said Tom Evenson, Walker’s press secretary.

Most school district leaders said Friday that they would wait until Sunday night to decide whether to close school Monday, in advance of dangerously cold winds and double-digit negative temperatures predicted for early next week.

The forecast was so bone-chilling that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton was first to take the unusual step Friday of ordering all schools closed in his state Monday.

6 Comments
  1. January 5, 2014 3:23 PM

    Thanks for your thoughtfulness. I am not focused on what the founders intended or the meaning but more on preserving what we have now and preventing more usurpation of local control by higher political authorities. The Wisconsin Constitution is pretty clear about who has the authority.

    “118.001  Duties and powers of school boards; construction of statutes. The statutory duties and powers of school boards shall be broadly construed to authorize any school board action that is within the comprehensive meaning of the terms of the duties and powers, if the action is not prohibited by the laws of the federal government or of this state.”

    That seems pretty clear to me that Gov. Walker does not have this authority. Unless the legislature gives the Gov this power, he does not have standing to act on determining when a school is open or closed due to bad weather.

    It is convenient to surrender authority to the Gov when we want an expected result. But that becomes a slippery slope. Have you looked at AB128 which defines when a local community can remove an offending politician? Democracy and a Republic vests this responsibility and authority in the people. But here we are telling the people again that they only have this power when the government gives it to them. That is not what this country was founded upon.

    I urge everyone to stand against the usurping of local control. Liberty and Freedom are lost when the power to effect change is taken away from the People.

  2. January 5, 2014 11:18 AM

    Dale,

    Thanks for your comment, and I truly do find these issues not only relevant but also most exciting to discuss. I agree that one can certainly make the case for Walker striking against local control. But I come from the perspective that elections should be run in a uniform way to prevent problems and disparities, as an example of where I would differ from your comment.

    But to broaden out the matter, and hopefully find a place to which we can agree, these topics are lively to debate. I am not sure if you were on the thread where the following was posted by myself, and as such post the following, again. It is short.

    “I have found–and I offer only if you care to have a rather fascinating and engaging read about all these types of issues from the start of our nation to the present–the following. James MacGregor Burns starts the first of three volumes with “The Vineyard of Liberty” and it presents how the term liberty and freedom has changed and morphed. Could Jefferson buy the Louisiana Purchase with out constitutional permission, and how did the Supreme Court begin, and did that too run counter to constitutional limits. On and one, issue after issue as the decades roll along—this is a college course in book form–it is that good. I offer it only as a thought if this stuff intrigues you. I bought the three books over time as they came on sale over Amazon, etc and love them, and hope you might too.”

  3. January 5, 2014 8:47 AM

    Are there any constitutional laws that you do support? Anyone can come with excuses to violate the law. You dishonor local officials if you think they cannot make this decision on their own. If you believe that there are laws that limit governmental authority, and should be honored, let me know. Walker has been usurping local authority since his election. Act 20, absentee voting, SB 349, now school authorities…not all have succeeded but it is evident that local control has never been under such attack until Walker.

  4. January 3, 2014 5:59 PM

    Dale,

    I do not mean to get too picky on this topic, but as I sat thinking about this it does strike me as really odd that this matter gets political. In light of the fact frostbite can strike in just minutes, and kids faster as they often do not dress right–or stay dressed—is this not the time to think of the larger need than some ‘constitutional’ argument?

  5. January 3, 2014 5:21 PM

    The Wisconsin governor’s office can close schools by executive order, and has long had that authority. I just can not recall weather ever forcing the issue before.

  6. January 3, 2014 3:24 PM

    You can’t recall this because the Governor does not have the authority to do this unless he usurps it from the local school officials.

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