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Priority Legislative Alert: Statutory Flexibility Agenda for the 2020-21 School Year

By John Forester | August 12, 2020

The SAA is issuing a Priority Legislative Alert on our Statutory Flexibility Agenda for the 2020-21 School Year.

Last Friday, WASDA Executive Director Jon Bales delivered a response to the letter some members of the Assembly Republican Caucus sent to Wisconsin superintendents at the end of July “encouraging” them to open their schools for in-person instruction.  Bales’ response was directed to Speaker Robin Vos and copied to several other members of Assembly Republican leadership.

In the following paragraph from the letter, Bales asked Speaker Vos for his help in supporting temporary statutory flexibility for schools in several key policy areas.

“You are clearly interested in having students back in school for in-person instruction. Superintendents share that interest but have the responsibility to accomplish it in a way that minimizes the health risks to all involved to the greatest extent possible. If this is to happen effectively, it will not be done in a business-as-usual manner. Superintendents will need meaningful engagement of policymakers, beyond your expressed opinions and input. At this critical moment in the lives of Wisconsin children and parents, I am compelled to seek your help for school leaders to successfully tackle the unprecedented challenges they face as the beginning of school approaches. In addition to the obvious financial support needed, we will be seeking your support for temporary statutory flexibility in the following areas.”

Today, we are releasing the SAA’s Statutory Flexibility Agenda for the 2020-21 School Year, and we urge SAA members to contact their legislators in support of these urgent, common-sense proposals.

We fully recognize that getting our state lawmakers back into session to take up these proposals for the 2020-21 school year is a challenge that will require significant and persistent effort on our part.  But, the operating flexibility these proposals would provide is vital for you to successfully tackle the unprecedented challenges you face as the beginning of school approaches.

We urge SAA members to take action now! Please contact your legislators and ask them to support the proposals in the Statutory Flexibility Agenda for the 2020-21 school year.  Be sure to share with your legislators how these proposals would impact your district this fall.

For your convenience in contacting your legislators, we have provided links to the Assembly Directory, the Senate Directory and Who Are My Legislators.

If you have any questions about this Priority Alert, please call me at (608) 235-2757.  As always, but especially now, thanks for all your efforts on behalf of the children you serve.

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