- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015
Madison high school to name gender-neutral homecoming court

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Madison high school is switching to a gender-neutral homecoming court in an effort to make transgender and gender nonconforming students feel more comfortable.

Madison West High School Principal Beth Thompson tells the Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/1JUJWmrhttps://bit.ly/1JUJWmr ) that the homecoming court announced on Oct. 16 will consist of the top 20 vote-getters in the senior class. In the past, 10 male and 10 female students were named to the school’s homecoming court.

The two top vote-getters won’t be called “king” or “queen” unless they choose those titles.

Students approached Thompson last spring with a petition calling for the change to “create a safer and more inclusive environment for students.”

Madison West is the largest of the district’s four high schools with about 2,065 students.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsjhttps://www.madison.com/wsj


Committee OKs lifting UW out-of-state student cap

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A University of Wisconsin System committee approved a plan to lift UW-Madison’s cap on out-of-state students Thursday after the campus’ chancellor and system president insisted they need more freedom to attract fresh talent for Wisconsin employers.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank and system President Ray Cross told the Board of Regents’ education committee that the number of Wisconsin high school graduates has been declining since 2009, resulting in decreasing college enrollment and exacerbating the state’s shortage of skilled workers. Lifting UW-Madison’s cap would allow the university to attract more top students from out of state who, they hope, would remain in Wisconsin after graduation.

“If you think we need workers now, just wait 10 years,” Cross said. “I believe we must do something. Will this reverse our demographic destiny by itself? No. But it’s a start.”

The UW System currently caps the number of out-of-state undergraduates at 27.5 percent of the total undergraduate population at each campus. Blank and Cross want to lift that cap at UW-Madison for four academic years beginning in the fall of 2016. As part of the move they pledged to enroll at least 3,600 in-state students in each freshman class.

The plan had originally called for enrolling at least 3,500 in-staters per class, but UW officials amended it this week to 3,600 to better reflect the number of in-state freshmen currently enrolled. The school has 3,617 in-state freshmen right now, said Charlie Hoslet, UW-Madison interim vice chancellor for university relations, after the committee meeting. Minnesota students, who pay Wisconsin in-state tuition rates as part of a reciprocity agreement between the two states, wouldn’t be considered in-state students and wouldn’t count toward the 3,600 in-state minimum.

Eliminating the cap widens a potentially lucrative revenue stream for UW-Madison as it grapples with its share of a $250 million cut Republican lawmakers imposed on the system in the 2015-17 budget; out-of-staters pay about $20,000 more annually in tuition than Wisconsin residents.

UW officials noted in a memo to the regents that lifting the cap would allow the school to increase revenues and maintain access to services and classes in light of the budget cut. The memo offers no details.


Paul Ryan reiterates he’s not interested in being speaker

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan does not want to be speaker of the House.

The Wisconsin Republican on Thursday issued a statement saying he was disappointed in Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s surprise decision to withdraw from the contest to replace Rep. John Boehner.

Ryan had said when Boehner announced his resignation that he wasn’t interested in being speaker, and he repeated that Thursday.

Ryan says McCarthy is the best person to lead the House and he is disappointed in his decision. Ryan says it’s important for Republicans to deliberate and find new candidates, but that won’t include him.

Ryan serves as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.


Wisconsin to host Democratic presidential debate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin will host a Democratic presidential primary debate on Feb. 11.

The Democratic National Committee announced the date on Thursday. No site within the state was named. The debate will be hosted by PBS.

Wisconsin is hosting a Republican presidential primary debate next month, but the date and place have not been announced.

Wisconsin’s presidential primary is April 5.

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