DPI Releases ESSA Draft State Plan

By John Forester | April 29, 2017

State Superintendent Tony Evers issued a statement today on the Department of Public Instruction’s publication of the first draft of the state’s plan for implementing federal education law as reauthorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The plan will now undergo a public comment period through June 30.

Additional information is available in the Department of Public Instruction news release here.

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Should Taxpayers Pay for Private School Vouchers?

By John Forester | April 29, 2017

Check out the WQOW (Eau Claire) coverage of the voucher issue in the Eau Claire area.  Eau Claire Superintendent Mary Ann Hardebeck is quoted extensively.

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Proposed Penalties for Gun Threats Against Schools

By John Forester | April 29, 2017

Check out the NBC15 (Madison) coverage of Senate Bill 82.  The SAA-supported bill proposes penalties for those making gun threats against schools.  Middleton-Cross Plains Superintendent George Mavroulis is quoted extensively, as is Senator Janet Bewley (D-Ashland), the bill’s author.

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More Start Date Resolutions

By John Forester | April 26, 2017

Check out the school board resolutions below in support of school start date repeal.

Please forward your letters and resolutions to the SAA.

Mondovi Resolution

Reedsburg Resolution

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School Referendum Bills Introduced

By John Forester | April 26, 2017

The six bills relating to school referenda have been introduced in the Senate.  Five of them have also been introduced in the Assembly.  Please note that the bills have been referred to four different Senate committees.  Below we have linked each of the Senate bills and listed for each the relating clause, the committee the bill was referred to and the chair of the committee.  We will follow up with similar information for the Assembly companion bills in a separate post.

SB-187 Referendum Revenue Information (Kapenga, Chris) Providing information about school district referendum revenue. Referred to Senate Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government. This committee is chaired by Senator Feyen (R-Fond du Lac).

SB-191 Bonding Resolution Consideration (Stroebel, Duey) Consideration of resolution to issue bond by common and union high school districts and prohibiting voting on a resolution to exceed the revenue limit of a school district at a special meeting. Referred to Senate Government Operations, Technology & Consumer Protection. This committee is chaired by Senator Stroebel (R-Saukville).

SB-192 Capital Improvement Trust Fund (Stroebel, Duey) Providing matching funds for a deposit to a long-term capital improvement trust fund and making an appropriation. Referred to Senate Education. This committee is chaired by Senator Olsen.

SB-193 Referendum Revenue Limit Increase Penalty (Stroebel, Duey) Creating a general school aid penalty for increasing a school district’s revenue limit by referendum and allowing school boards to rescind revenue limit increases that have been approved by a referendum. Referred to Senate Education. This committee is chaired by Senator Olsen.

SB-194 Referendum Scheduling (Stroebel, Duey) Scheduling of school district referendums to exceed revenue limits. Referred to Senate Elections and Utilities. This committee is chaired by Senator LeMahieu.

SB-195 School Referenda (Stroebel, Duey) School board referendums to exceed revenue limit applicable to a school district. Referred to Senate Government Operations, Technology & Consumer Protection. This committee is chaired by Senator Stroebel.

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JFC to Begin Taking Budget Votes Monday

By John Forester | April 26, 2017

From WisPolitics.com …

The Joint Finance Committee will take up the court system, Insurance and Employment Relations when it meets Monday for its first executive session on the budget.

That includes the Judicial Commission, which Gov. Scott Walker wants to put under the control of the state Supreme Court, and the Judicial Council, which he wants to eliminate. The commission oversees discipline for the court system, including the justices, while the council advises the guv, Supreme Court and Legislature on matters pertaining to the court. He proposed similar moves in the 2015-17 budget, but JFC rejected them.

The 11 agencies on the agenda are:

*Judicial Commission
*Judicial Council
*Circuit Courts
*Court of Appeals
*Supreme Court
*Employment Relations Commission
*DOA — Division of Gaming
*Insurance
*Board for People with Developmental Disabilities
*Board on Aging and Long-Term Care
*Environmental Improvement Fund

The committee will convene at 2 p.m.

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Notes From Final JFC Hearing

By John Forester | April 24, 2017

Last Friday, the Joint Finance Committee held it’s last public hearing on the 2017-19 state budget bill in Marinette.  The SAA was well-represented with the following school superintendents providing testimony:  Todd Carlson (Gillett), Wendy Dzurick (Marinette), Kim Eparvier (Peshtigo), Bec Kurzynske (Pulaski), Michelle Langenfeld (Green Bay), Aaron Malczewski (Oconto), Patrick Rau (Bonduel) and Mike Richie (Northland Pines).  The following business mangers delivering testimony were:  Jacob Holtz (Sturgeon Bay) and Brian Walters (Marinette).  Other administrative team members from Green Bay and Pulaski joined their superintendents in testimony as well.  In addition, John Forester delivered testimony on the “ACT 10 Compliance” provision.  Many thanks to these SAA members for their leadership.  See the news coverage here.

Bec Kurzynske Testimony

Brian Walters Testimony

 

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Borsuk: No Time to Lose on Education

By John Forester | April 24, 2017

Check out Alan Borsuk’s latest column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  The event referred to was hosted by the SAA on April 3rd in collaboration with Senator Luther Olsen and the National Conference of State Legislatures.  It was framed around the recommendations from the NCSL study, No Time to Lose.

You can access videos of major presentations from the event here.

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Notes From JFC Hearing

By John Forester | April 20, 2017

Yesterday, the Joint Finance Committee held it’s fifth of six public hearings on the 2017-19 state budget bill in Ellsworth.  The SAA was well-represented with the following school superintendents providing testimony:  Barry Cain (Ellsworth), Mary Ann Hardebeck (Eau Claire), James Kuchta (Amery), Mark Luebker (Osceola), Patrick Olson (New Richmond), Bruce Quinton (Pepin), Eric Russell (Baldwin-Woodville), Cathleen Shimon (Clayton), Rick Spicuzza (Prescott), Jerry Walters (CESA 11), and Joe Zydowsky (Menomonie).  Many thanks to these SAA members for their leadership.

Mary Ann Hardebeck Testimony

James Kuchta Testimony

Mark Luebker Testimony

Patrick Olson Testimony

Bruce Quinton Testimony

Eric Russell Testimony

Jerry Walters Testimony

Joe Zydowsky Testimony

For those of you planning to testify at the Marinette hearing, here are my suggestions:

Get there early.  I know the hearing does not start until 10:00 a.m., but if you wish to speak before 1:00 p.m. get there by 7:30 a.m.

We need a strong showing at this final JFC budget hearing.  If you have questions about testifying please call me.

Here is the final hearing location and time:

10 am – 5 pm: Friday, April 21, Marinette High School Auditorium, Marinette

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Notes from JFC Hearing

By John Forester | April 19, 2017

Yesterday, the Joint Finance Committee held it’s fourth of six public hearings on the 2017-19 state budget bill in Spooner.  The SAA was well-represented with the following school superintendents providing testimony:  John Burnett (Spooner), David Bridenhagen (Shell Lake), Randy Drost (Rice Lake), Paul Uhren (Ladysmith), Kent Kindschy (Turtle Lake) and Kevin Shetler (Siren).  The following Minoqua-area superintendents also provided testimony in support of the Governor’s school funding provisions and requested state support for a pilot school largely designed to meet the needs of the area’s autistic students: Jim Ellis (Minoqua J1), Larry Ouimette (Lac du Flambeau), Jim Bouche (Lakeland UHS), Brent Jelinski (North Lakeland) and Jocelyn Smith (Arbor Vitae-Woodruff). Many thanks to these SAA members for their leadership.

Kent Kindschy Testimony

Kevin Shetler Testimony

For those of you planning to testify at one of the remaining hearings, here are my suggestions:

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