Registration Still Open for ESSA Listening Sessions

By John Forester | June 22, 2016

State Superintendent Tony Evers has scheduled listening sessions to inform implementation of the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Many SAA members have signed up to participate in one of these listening sessions.

Members can still register to attend these important sessions.

Listening sessions will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

In addition, virtual sessions will be held on August 8th and August 18th.

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

School Data Committee Includes School Administrators

By John Forester | June 22, 2016

The membership on the Legislative Council Study Committee on School Data was recently announced and includes several school administrators.  This important study group is a priority for the SAA.  We will keep the membership informed of the work of this committee.

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

Scope Statements Updated for Legislative Council Study Committees

By John Forester | June 16, 2016

From The Wheeler Report . . .

Check out the updated scope statements below.

Study Committee on Access to Civil Legal Services – The Study Committee is directed to review the funding and delivery of legal services for the indigent in civil cases. The committee shall: (1) review the need for legal services by indigent civil litigants; (2) identify additional non-GPR sources of revenue to provide civil legal services for the indigent; and (3) review current operations.

Study Committee on the Preservation of Burial Sites The Study Committee is directed to review s. 157.70, Stats., to determine whether the statute adequately balances the interests of scientists, landowners, developers and others with an interest in a burial site, including those with a kinship interest and those with a general cultural, tribal or religious affiliation with the burial site. The Study Committee shall consider whether modifications to these procedures are necessary to protect all interests related to any human burial site encountered during archaeological excavation, metallic or nonmetallic mining, construction, agricultural activities, environmental impact assessments or other ground-disturbing activities, without causing avoidable or undue delay or hardship to any person who has an interest in using the land on which the burial site is located.

Study Committee on Publication of Government Documents and Legal Notices – The Study Committee is directed to update and recodify chs. 35 and 985, Stats., relating to the publication and distribution of government documents and legal notices, to reflect technological advances and remove obsolete provisions. The committee shall also study whether, and in what circumstances, current law regarding the publication and distribution of government documents and legal notices, including qualifications for official newspapers, should be modified to allow for information to be made available only electronically or through nontraditional media outlets, and the committee shall recommend legislation regarding any such modifications.

Study Committee on Reducing Recidivism and Removing Impediments to Ex-Offender Employment The Study Committee is directed to review effective strategies and best practices for reducing recidivism. The committee shall: (a) consider evidence-based strategies to decrease recidivism that have achieved success in Wisconsin or in other states for possible expansion or implementation; (b) investigate systems of earned-time credits for possible implementation as part of a recidivism reduction program; and (c) explore existing impediments to reacclimating to society, including continuity of medication, impediments to occupational licensure and professional credentials, and other collateral consequences of conviction.

Study Committee on Rural Broadband – The Study Committee is directed to review the Wisconsin Broadband Expansion Grant Program and the extent to which it has encouraged construction of broadband infrastructure in areas of the state with few broadband service providers. The committee shall discuss the criteria used to evaluate applications and award grants, consider alternatives for determining eligibility and prioritizing proposed projects, consider alternative methods for encouraging construction of broadband infrastructure, and identify options to recommend.

Study Committee on School Data The Study Committee is directed to review all student data gathered by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the data security measures that protect student privacy. The committee will study whether the data is required by federal law, state statute, or administrative rule and the purposes for which the data is utilized, and consider developing legislation to limit the types of student data collected by DPI and to improve the security of that data.

Study Committee on Volunteer Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician Shortages-The Study Committee is directed to examine issues related to the shortage of volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in the state, particularly in rural areas, and propose measures to address the shortage. Specifically, the Study Committee shall study all of the following: (a) the magnitude of volunteer shortages, the areas of the state most affected, and the potential impact of shortages on public health and safety and economic development; (b) whether current training and continuing education requirements contribute to the shortage; (c) relationships between full-time and volunteer emergency response departments and the impact that the shortage of volunteers has on nonvolunteer departments in neighboring communities; and (d) whether the creation of organizations, particularly in rural areas, may help address the shortage. The committee shall develop legislative options to meet the needs of full time and volunteer fire departments, including proposals designed to increase the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters throughout the state.

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

Hearing on Special Needs Scholarship Rules

By John Forester | June 15, 2016

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will conduct a hearing from 10:30 a.m. to noon on June 29 at the Department of Public Instruction headquarters, Room P41, 125 South Webster Street, Madison, on emergency rules to create Chapter PI 49 related to the Special Needs Scholarship Program.

Additional information is available in the DPI news release here.

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

Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education Releases Final Report

By John Forester | June 15, 2016

From The Wheeler Report:

Task Force Chair Rep. Jessie Rodriguez announced the final recommendations of the Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education. The bipartisan Assembly committee was charged with addressing specific needs in urban schools including solutions to improve educational outcomes, teacher recruitment and retention, and below-average academic performance. The task force held five public hearings and toured schools in six urban school districts: Madison, Racine, Kenosha, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Eau Claire.

For more information see Representative Rodriguez’s press release and the final report.

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

Districts to Receive High Cost Special Ed Aid

By John Forester | June 14, 2016

The DPI announced today that school districts across the state will receive High Cost Special Education Aid payments on June 20 to reimburse a portion of the costs associated with teaching students with significant disability-related needs. The aid to be paid to 162 school districts and one County Children with Disabilities Education Board (CCDEB) totals $5,754,103 for 951 students.

Additional information is available in the DPI news release here.

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

Senate Education Chair Olsen Talks K-12

By John Forester | June 7, 2016

In an interview with The Wheeler Report, Senator Luther Olsen, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, talks about being a committee chair, vouchers, referendums, and the future of education.  Check it out here.

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

Assembly Education Chair Theisfeldt Talks K-12

By John Forester | June 6, 2016

In an interview with The Wheeler Report, Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education, talks about being a committee chair, vouchers, referendums, and the future of education.  Check it out here.

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

Polashek Suspends Campaign for State Senate

By John Forester | June 2, 2016

From WisPolitics:

Dave Polashek, a former Oconto Falls Public Schools superintendent, is dropping his campaign for the 12th SD, saying a Dem primary would hurt the effort to beat GOP Sen. Tom Tiffany.

Bryan Van Stippen, who resigned his seat on the Stevens Point City Council in April 2015 and moved to Deerbrook, originally planned to run for the state Assembly against GOP Rep. Mary Czaja. But he announced last month he was switching to the 12th SD instead.

Polashek said Van Stippen’s decision led him to conclude an expensive primary would divide resources and efforts to beat Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst.

“Knowing when to leave may be the smartest thing anyone can ever learn,” Polashek said, adding he is supporting Van Stippen.

Renea Frederick, of Merrill, filed nomination papers to challenge Czaja.

See the release here.

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

Funding Public Schools By Referendum

By John Forester | May 31, 2016

Check out this interesting article in the Madison Capital Times on funding public schools by referendum.

The article discusses a legislative fiscal bureau (LFB) memo prepared at the request of Representative Gordon Hintz (D) – Oshkosh.

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

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