WERC Issues New Recertification Election Rules

By John Forester | August 28, 2015

From the Legal Side . . .

The Boardman & Clark Law Firm has released a school law update regarding new WERC recertification election rules.  The SAA regularly receives these updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of Boardman & Clark.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update, SAA Legal Side | No Comments »

Wisconsin ACT Results Hold Steady

By John Forester | August 26, 2015

According to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), Wisconsin’s 2015 graduates had steady overall results on the ACT with an average composite score of 22.2, which tied with Iowa for second place behind Minnesota (22.7) among states where 50 percent or more of students take the assessment.

For more information, please see the DPI news release here.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

DPI Provides Update on Budget Implementation

By John Forester | August 25, 2015

Just in case you missed it, last Thursday, Deputy State Superintendent Michael Thompson sent a memo to Wisconsin district administrators updating them on the implementation of the K-12 provisions of the 2015-17 Biennial Budget.  The SAA is posting this memo because we believe it is valuable information for all SAA members.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

WASDA Sends MoE Letter to Congressional Delegation

By John Forester | August 25, 2015

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has issued a special call to action on legislation amending IDEA’s maintenance of effort (MoE) requirements.

Last month, AASA successfully lobbied to have legislation introduced that would amend IDEA to grant districts additional exceptions to reduce the maintenance of effort requirements as long as the provision of special education services to students was not compromised. Rep. Walberg (R) of Michigan introduced the legislation, the Building on Local District (BOLD) Flexibility in IDEA Act (HR 2965), and they need the help of superintendents and other administrators to attract additional co-sponsors in the House and companion legislation in the Senate.

In response to AASA’s call, WASDA sent a letter to the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation urging their support for HR 2965.  Please take a moment to reach out to the Congressional Delegation and ask them to support this important bill. Feel free to include AASA’s one-pager, which is available here

For your convenience, we have provided email addresses for the appropriate staffers in Wisconsin House and Senate offices.  Please note that contact information for Rep. Ribble’s office is not included because he has already signed on as a co-sponsor of HR 2965.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Introducing “From the Legal Side”

By John Forester | August 18, 2015

From the Legal Side . . .

The SAA is introducing a new feature on its blog site called “From the Legal Side” which will appear occasionally and include valuable legal updates and analyses from Wisconsin firms practicing school law.  The SAA regularly receives useful updates from these firms and we believe this is valuable information for our members.  Firms are encouraged to forward their updates to the SAA.  The SAA will only distribute information in “From the Legal Side” with permission and attribution.

Our maiden voyage of “From the Legal Side” highlights a series of reports on the 2015-17 State Budget produced by Strang, Patteson, Renning, Lewis & Lacy, S.C.  This series includes reports on important school issues like private school choice, special education open enrollment, teacher licensure, course options, school accountability and more.  You can access this series here.

Topics: SAA Latest Update, SAA Legal Side | No Comments »

Wisconsin School Mental Health Project Gets Underway

By John Forester | August 18, 2015

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced today that a five-year project to improve students’ emotional well-being and mental health is moving ahead with the selection of 27 participating districts and training for the first group of school and community teams that are part of the Wisconsin School Mental Health Project.

For more information including a list of participating schools, please see the DPI news release here.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

School Districts Scramble to Fill Positions

By John Forester | August 18, 2015

Check out the article on teacher recruitment/retention by Erin Richards and Matt Kulling of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Guidance for Unnassigned Fund Balances

By John Forester | August 17, 2015

Late last month, the DPI released some new options to allow school districts discretion to further define unassigned fund balances.  In a recent newsletter article, WASBO Executive Director Woody Wiedenhoeft reflects on these options and offers guidance for school business officials and district administrators.

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DPI Posts Course Options Guidance

By John Forester | August 17, 2015

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has posted guidance for school districts on the changes made to Course Options in the 2015-17 State Budget.  Please note these changes are in effect for the 2015-16 school year.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Speaker Vos Announces Creation of Task Forces

By John Forester | August 5, 2015

From Wheeler:

Speaker Vos has announced the creation of three task forces including one on urban education and one on youth workforce readiness:

Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Objectives: Improve and promote community-based resources and raise awareness, as well as address legal issues and determine possible state participation in treatment and research.

 

Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education

Objectives: Will study teacher recruitment and retention, discuss best practices to address truancy, below-average academic performance and low graduation rates, and explore ways to improve access to technology in high poverty urban areas.

 

Speaker’s Task Force on Youth Workforce Readiness

Objectives: Will explore ways to improve collaboration between schools, technical colleges and local employers; increase awareness of apprenticeships and internships in these fields; and examine future industry needs and challenges facing our state.

 

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

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