Justice Prosser to Retire from State Supreme Court

By John Forester | April 28, 2016

From WisPolitics.com …

Justice David Prosser announced today he is retiring from the state Supreme Court after nearly 18 years on bench.

His retirement will take effect at the end of July, when the court’s current term comes to a close.

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Wisconsin in various capacities for more than 40 years,” Prosser wrote in a letter to Gov. Scott Walker, according to a release from the state Supreme Court.

Walker, who appointed Justice Rebecca Bradley to the bench last fall to replace the late Justice Pat Crooks, will be able to appoint a successor for Prosser, whose term does not end until 2021.

Prosser, a former Outagamie County DA and Assembly speaker, served on the Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission from 1997 to 1998, when then-Gov. Tommy Thompson appointed him to the state Supreme Court.

Prosser was elected to a full term in 2001 and again in 2011, an election that turned into a de facto referendum on Walker’s collective bargaining changes for state employees.

He later faced a Judicial Commission complaint over a physical altercation with Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. The complaint stalled after members of the court recused themselves from the case.

See the release here.

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Referendums and Prevailing Wage

By John Forester | April 19, 2016

The Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. has put together some information on prevailing wage effective dates regarding bidding and contracting in their recent e-newsletter.  Having already received a few inquiries from the field on the issue, I thought SAA members may find this information useful.

Check it out here.

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School Libraries to Share $37.7 Million From Common School Fund

By John Forester | April 19, 2016

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced today that public school districts throughout the state will share $37.7 million in library aid, which will be paid April 25 from the Common School Fund, the only state funding specifically designated for the purchase of materials for school libraries.

Additional information, including district-by-district payment amounts, is available in the DPI news release here.

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Kapanke Announces Run Against Shilling

By John Forester | April 19, 2016

La Crosse Loggers owner Dan Kapanke is again running for the Wisconsin Senate seat he lost to Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling in a recall election five years ago.

Check out the La Crosse Tribune news story here.

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DPI Publishes School Mental Health Guide

By John Forester | April 15, 2016

Mental health issues impact the lives and learning of an estimated one in five students in Wisconsin and across the nation. To guide state schools in implementing a comprehensive system to deliver and coordinate school mental health services, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction recently published “The Wisconsin School Mental Health Framework.”

Additional information is available in the DPI news release here.

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Whole Grade Sharing Reminder From DPI

By John Forester | April 14, 2016

As a reminder from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the 2015-17 budget act included a new option for school boards to consider when determining how to best provide educational services to students.  Whole Grade Sharing (WGS) authorizes school boards of two or more school districts to enter into an agreement to provide for the education of students, in one or more grades from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, by one or the other of the districts.   State law prescribes the timeline, so at this time the WGS option can be used beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

Additional information is located on the School Management Services page here.

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Borsuk: How to Get Enough Teachers?

By John Forester | April 11, 2016

Check out Alan Borsuk’s most recent column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wisconsin’s teacher shortage.  Borsuk also highlights comments from Linda Darling-Hammond who says that the nation needs to deal with some fundamental issues involving teacher preparation and ways to make teachers more successful on the job.

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Final School Referendum Results

By John Forester | April 6, 2016

From The Wheeler Report:

SCHOOL REFERENDUM RESULTS

District Name
Total Amount
Type
Brief Description
Albany
Passed
$1,200,000.00
RR – 2016
Recurring referendum 2016-17 $800,000; 2017-18 $200,000; 2018-19 $200,000
Algoma
Passed
$4,860,000.00
Issue Debt
Renovations, improvements and additions to the elementary school; high school restroom renovations; parking lot improvements at each school building; and equipment acquisition related to said projects.
Antigo
Failed
$25,900,000.00
Issue Debt
Issue Debt in an amount not to exceed $25,900,000 to build an new elementary school and additions and remodeling at the remaining two elementary schools.
Argyle
Passed
$6,500,000.00
Issue Debt
General obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $6,500,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school improvement program at District buildings and grounds consisting of:  HVAC upgrades and improvements; roof and flooring repairs and replacement; additions for technical education classroom and shop space, new storage and office space and a new maintenance and storage garage; remodeling and renovations to classroom space, the Elementary School gymnasium and locker rooms; and acquiring furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Argyle
Passed
$2,600,000.00
Issue Debt
General obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $2,600,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of constructing a new High School gymnasium, restrooms, office and storage space.
Ashland
Passed
$34,360,000.00
Issue Debt
BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the School District of Ashland, Ashland and Bayfield Counties, Wisconsin that there shall be issued pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $34,360,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school building and improvement program at all District facilities and grounds consisting of: additions for classrooms and learning space; remodeling and modernization of facilities; energy efficiency and management system upgrades; technology, safety and security improvements, including secure main entrances; construction of a new fieldhouse; parking and site improvements; and acquiring furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Auburndale
Passed
 
$500,000.00
RR – 2017
Shall the School District of Auburndale be allowed to exceed the revenue limit specified in § 121.91, Wis. Stats., by up to $500,000 commencing with the 2017-2018 school year on a recurring basis; by up to an additional $200,000 in the 2018-2019 school year on a non-recurring basis, making a total of $700,000; by up to an additional $300,000 in the 2019-2020 school year on a non-recurring basis, making a total of $800,000; and by up to an additional $400,000 in the 2020-2021 school year on a non-recurring basis, making a total of $900,000, all for the purpose of maintaining current levels of educational programming, expenditures and operations?
Auburndale
Passed
$900,000.00
NR – 2018
Shall the School District of Auburndale be allowed to exceed the revenue limit specified in § 121.91, Wis. Stats., by up to $500,000 commencing with the 2017-2018 school year on a recurring basis; by up to an additional $200,000 in the 2018-2019 school year on a non-recurring basis, making a total of $700,000; by up to an additional $300,000 in the 2019-2020 school year on a non-recurring basis, making a total of $800,000; and by up to an additional $400,000 in the 2020-2021 school year on a non-recurring basis, making a total of $900,000, all for the purpose of maintaining current levels of educational programming, expenditures and operations?
Barron Area
Passed
$4,500,000.00
NR – 2017
Non-recurring referendum to exceed the revenue cap for five years 2017-18 through 2021-22 for the purpose of completing multiple necessary major maintenance projects and retaining high quality staff.
Bloomer
Passed
$3,500,000.00
Issue Debt
$3,500,000.00 for constructing an addition on our Middle School for classroom space, a technical education and agricultural room, a computer lab, bathrooms and additional storage space; Middle School bathroom, kitchen and storage room remodeling; and acquiring furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Boscobel
Failed
$20,000,000.00
Issue Debt
To pay the cost of a school building improvement program, consisting of constructing a building addition to the high school and making related improvements to combine all grades at one location, and acquire furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Boscobel
Passed
$1,800,000.00
RR – 2016
To Exceed the revenue cap on a recurring basis for continuing and enhancing the educational programs of the District and maintaining the current level of District Operations
Brodhead
Passed
$2,850,000.00
NR – 2016
To exceed the revenue limit by $950,000, on a non-recurring basis, for each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, to be used to maintain facilities and programs, and for debt retirement.
Chilton
Failed
$5,200,000.00
NR – 2016
educational programming
Cumberland
Passed
$2,100,000.00
RR – 2016
Recurring purposes consisting of operating expenses and educational programming.
Darlington Community
Failed
$2,200,000.00
RR – 2016
For recurring purposes consisting of maintained and enhanced educational programming

beginning 2016-2017 and thereafter.

Dodgeville
Passed
$19,995,000.00
Issue Debt
Borrowing amount not to exceed $19,995,000 for the public purpose of paying the

cost of a school improvement program consisting of district-wide infrastructure improvements;

additions and remodeling at Dodgeville High School; and acquiring furnishings, fixtures and

equipment.

Ellsworth Community
Passed
$31,900,000.00
Issue Debt
Constructing and equipping a new four year old kindergarten through grade 5 elementary school with administrative offices.
Gillett
Failed
$3,800,000.00
NR – 2016
Non recurring referendum to exceed revenue limit by $950,000 for 4 years
Goodman-Armstrong
Passed
$1,650,000.00
NR – 2016
Exceed revenue cap by $550,000 for three years
Grafton
Failed
$47,000,000.00
Issue Debt
Issue GO Bonds not to exceed $47,700,000 for the purpose of paying the costs of additions, remodeling, renovations and upgrades to all District buildings including constructing a new middle school facility and new technical education center adjacent to the high school, converting the existing middle school to an elementary school facility, upgrades and additions to the Woodview and Kennedy Elementary Schools and Grafton High School and equipment acquisition related to the project.
Grafton
Failed
$1,800,000.00
Issue Debt
Issue bonds not to exceed $1,800,000 for the purpose of paying the costs of improvements and repairs to outdoor physical education, athletic and community recreation areas and equipment acquisition related to the project.
Green Lake
Passed
$2,400,000.00
NR – 2016
Greenwood
Passed
$3,850,000.00
NR – 2016
For non-recurring purposes to maintain academic, co-curricular and athletic programs for students, upgrade technology education equipment, and continued maintenance of district facilities.
Gresham
Failed
$6,000,000.00
Issue Debt
Issue debt to replace high school section of facility, raze the current high school, construct additional academic and administrative space in location of razed portion of building, and renovations to remaining facilities and parking improvements.
Gresham
Failed
 
$3,200,000.00
Issue Debt
Issue debt for the purpose of expanding academic, athletic, and recreational space at the school including a new gymnasium and locker rooms, replacing soccer field and track and field areas, additional parking.
Hudson
Passed
$74,300,000.00
Issue Debt
High School Additions, Renovations and Upgrades
Hudson
Passed
$7,900,000.00
Issue Debt
Middle School Additions, Renovations and Upgrades
Hudson
Passed
$8,200,000.00
Issue Debt
High School Multi-Use Athletic Facilities and High School Auditorium Renovations and Upgrades
Iowa-Grant
Passed
$1,800,000.00
RR – 2016
To authorize the District to exceed the revenue cap on a recurring basis of $1,800,000 starting in the school year 2016-17 for District programs and operations including building and maintenance projects.
Juda
Passed
$5,700,000.00
Issue Debt
General Obligation Bonds or Promissory Notes in an amount not to exceed $5,700,000 for the purpose of paying the costs of improvements, remodeling, renovations and repairs to the District’s buildings and grounds and equipment acquisition to address key areas of needs in facilities, safety/security, curriculum/instruction and technology.
Juda
Passed
$150,000.00
RR – 2016
School district budget shall include an amount not to exceed $150,000 in excess of the revenue limits imposed by Section 121.91 of the Wisconsin Statutes each year beginning with the 2016-17 school year on a recurring basis for the purpose of paying District operation costs including curriculum, utilities, technology, insurance, professional development and staffing needs.
Lake Holcombe
Passed
$2,025,000.00
NR – 2016
Exceed revenue caps by $675,000 for three years beginning with the 2016-17 school year through the 2018-19 school year for operational & maintenance expenses.
Lena
Passed
$3,250,000.00
NR – 2016
Referendum to exceed the revenue limit for 5 years starting with the 2016-17 school year.
Medford Area
Passed
$3,205,000.00
Issue Debt
Medford Area
Passed
$975,000.00
Issue Debt
Menomonee Falls
Passed
$32,700,000.00
Issue Debt
$32,700,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a district-wide facility improvement program
Menomonee Falls
Failed
$3,750,000.00
RR – 2016
Exceed the revenue limit by $1,250,000 in the 2016-2017 school year and by an additional $1,250,000 a year in each of the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years for a total of $3,750,000 for the 2018-2019 school year and remain at $3,750,000 each year going forward, for recurring purposes consisting of safeguarding learning opportunities and sustaining class size.
Mishicot
Passed
$10,000,000.00
Issue Debt
Issue GO bonds in an amount not to exceed $10,000,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school improvement program at District buildings consisting of:  technology improvements, plumbing, HVAC and electrical infrastructure improvements; student instructional spaces, restroom, office, corridor, athletic space and kitchen renovations and remodeling; a locker room addition and renovations; door replacement; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Monona Grove
Passed
$13,000,000.00
NR – 2016
Shall  the  Monona  Grove  School  District,  Dane  County,  Wisconsin  be authorized  to  exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes,  by up to $2,600,000 per year for a period of five years on a non-recurring  basis beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, and ending  with the 2020-2021  school  year, for the purpose of funding  School District operations, including,   but   not   limited   to,   costs   associated   with   curriculum,   technology,   personnel, maintenance, equipment purchases, and facility improvements.
Montello
Passed
$3,600,000.00
NR – 2016
To maintain instructional programming.
Mosinee
Failed
$44,970,000.00
Issue Debt
construction project as indicated.
Mosinee
Failed
$383,000.00
Issue Debt
operating cost referendum
Mukwonago
Passed
$49,500,000.00
Issue Debt
School building and improvement program at Mukwonago High School
Mukwonago
Passed
$7,000,000.00
NR – 2017
Operational and maintenance expenses at Mukwonago High School
Muskego-Norway
Passed
$43,180,000.00
Issue Debt
To build a new middle school on district-owned property and construct additions and renovations to other existing school buildings.
Nicolet UHS
Passed
$18,900,000.00
NR – 2016
Resolution authorizing the Nicolet Unified High School District budget to exceed revenue limit by $3.15 million for six years for non-recurring purposes.
Oshkosh Area
Passed
$28,000,000.00
NR – 2016
To Exceed the revenue cap on a non-recurring basis by $4,000,000 for 7 years.
Peshtigo
Failed
$33,900,000.00
Issue Debt
Construct a new middle-high school and auditorium; demolish and remove existing middle-high school; develop surrounding green space; acquire furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Portage Community
Passed
$13,000,000.00
NR – 2016
Operational Referendum
Prairie Du Chien Area
Passed
$1,340,000.00
RR – 2016
Authorizing the School District Budget to Exceed Revenue Limit for Recurring Purposes
Prairie Du Chien Area
Passed
$18,900,000.00
Issue Debt
AUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $18,900,000
Richland
Passed
$475,000.00
RR – 2016
Resolution Authorizing the School District Budget To Exceed Revenue Limit By $475,000 for Recurring Purposes
Richland
Passed
$3,470,000.00
Issue Debt
Richland
Passed
$5,260,000.00
Issue Debt
Rio Community
Passed
$2,700,000.00
NR – 2016
Exceed Revenue Limit for Three Years for Operating Purposes
Solon Springs
Passed
$500,000.00
RR – 2016
For the purpose of maintaining current educational programming, expenditures, and operations
Somerset
Failed
$4,298,000.00
NR – 2016
Spencer
Passed
$4,875,000.00
NR – 2016
Authorize School District Budget to Exceed Revenue Limit by $975,000 for five years for non-recurring purposes
Spring Valley
Passed
$3,200,000.00
NR – 2016
REFERENDUM AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET TO EXCEED REVENUE LIMITS BY $800,000 FOR FOUR YEARS FOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
Stratford
Passed
$15,995,000.00
Issue Debt
School improvement program at the High School and Elementary School consisting of renovations, remodeling, infrastructure and capital maintenance improvements, a classroom addition, technology and security upgrades, asbestos abatement and site improvements; and acquiring furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Stratford
Failed
$7,995,000.00
Issue Debt
Construct and equip an auditorium, gymnasium, lobby and restrooms.
Sturgeon Bay
Passed
$6,850,000.00
NR – 2016
Superior
Passed
$92,500,000.00
Issue Debt
Capital building referendum
Tomah Area
Passed
$4,500,000.00
NR – 2016
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET TO EXCEED REVENUE LIMIT BY $1,5OO,OOO FOR THREE YEARS FOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
Waterford UHS
Failed
$12,210,000.00
Issue Debt
FIELD HOUSE AND FITNESS CENTER CONSTRUCTION
West Salem
Passed
$500,000.00
Issue Debt
Renovating and improving the District transportation facility; and acquiring related fixtures and equipment.
West Salem
Passed
$1,000,000.00
Issue Debt
Renovating and improving the District swimming pool and pool house; and acquiring related fixtures, furnishings and equipment.
Westby Area
Passed
$2,995,000.00
Issue Debt
Issue debt for paying for the cost of constructing and equipping a Performing Arts Center.
Winneconne Community
Passed
$12,500,000.00
Issue Debt
paying the cost of a school building improvement program at the Winneconne High School – addition to and renovation of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) facilities and construction of related improvements; addition of an auditorium; acquiring furniture, fixtures & equipment.
Winneconne Community
Passed
$1,200,000.00
NR – 2017
for purposes of paying operation and maintenance expenses relating to facilities for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) programs and the auditorium at Winneconne High School

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Changes to Wisconsin Pupil Records Law

By John Forester | April 4, 2016

From the Legal Side…

The Boardman & Clark law firm recently published this School Law Update.  The Wisconsin Legislature recently revised the state pupil records law (Wis Stat. s. 118.125).  This update briefly describes the new law and its impact on school district practices and policies.   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.

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Rep. Al Ott Will Not Seek Re-election

By John Forester | April 4, 2016

From WisPolitics.com …

In case you missed it last week, GOP state Rep. Al Ott, first elected to the Assembly in 1986, announced he will not seek re-election this fall.

“Thirty years ago, I ran for the state Assembly out of my genuine desire to serve the public and bring the voice of northeast Wisconsin to Madison,” Ott said. “While much has changed during my tenure, my commitment to my constituents and my desire to enact sound public policy has not. I am truly blessed and humbled to have had this opportunity.”

Ott, R-Forest Junction, is the longest continuously serving member of the Assembly. Rep. Fred Kessler, D-Milwaukee, served in the body in the 1960s. But he left for more than three decades before he was elected again in 2004. Likewise, Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, was first elected in 1984 but left in the early 1990s before winning his current seat in 2008.

Ott becomes the ninth member of the Legislature to opt against seeking re-election this fall. The two Dems are Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd, of Milwaukee, and Rep. Andy Jorgensen, of Milton. The Republicans are: Sens. Rick Gudex, of Fond du Lac, and Mary Lazich, of New Berlin, and Reps. Dave Heaton, of Wausau; Dean Knudson, of Hudson; Tom Larson, of Colfax; and John Murtha, of Baldwin.

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