The Wheeler Report: Education and COVID-19 – Part IV – School Services

By John Forester | July 2, 2020

The Wheeler Report is continuing its series on Education and COVID-19.  Part IV of the series is on School Services.  The SAA continues to serve as a resource to The Wheeler Report in the development of this series.

Check out Part IV of the series here.

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SAA Members Testify at Informational Hearing on School Reopening

By John Forester | June 24, 2020

At an informational hearing today before the Assembly Committee on Education, SAA members delivered powerful testimony on how they delivered services to students and families during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the challenges facing Wisconsin school leaders as they plan for reopening schools in the Fall, and the help that our Legislature can provide us to ensure a more effective reopening.  The following school superintendents testified before the Committee today:  Jill Underly (Pecatonica), Ben Niehaus (Florence), Lisa Olson (Whitnall), Lisa Elliott (Greenfield), Kristine Gilmore (D.C. Everest), Josh Robinson (Frederic), Michelle Langenfeld (Green Bay).  South Milwaukee Business Manager Blaise Paul joined South Milwaukee Superintendent Jeff Weiss.

Hats off to these school leaders, and many thanks to them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to represent the viewpoint of Wisconsin school leaders.

Jill Underly Testimony

Ben Niehaus Testimony

Lisa Olson Testimony

Lisa Elliott Testimony

Kristine Gilmore Testimony

Josh Robinson Testimony

Michelle Langenfeld Testimony

Jeff Weiss and Blaise Paul Testimony

 

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The Wheeler Report: Education and COVID-19 – Part III – Special Education

By John Forester | June 24, 2020

The Wheeler Report is continuing its series on Education and COVID-19.  Part III of the series is on Special Education issues.  The SAA continues to serve as a resource to The Wheeler Report in the development of this series.

Check out Part III of the series here.

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Committee to Hold Hearing on Fall Reopening

By John Forester | June 23, 2020

The Assembly Committee on Education will hold an informational hearing on Wisconsin K-12 School Reopening on Wednesday (tomorrow), June 24, 2020 in Room 412 East, State Capitol.  The Committee will hear testimony from invited speakers only. Eight superintendents and one school business manager have been invited to testify.

The SAA will post SAA member testimony on the SAA Blog tomorrow.  Members can access the hearing through WisconsinEye.

https://wiseye.org/

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Evers Announces Additional $46 Million to K-12

By John Forester | June 17, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

Evers today announced $83.6 million in federal funds that will go to K-12 schools and higher ed institutions.

Of that, $46 million going to K-12 is from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, which was created in the U.S. Department of Education and received $3 billion from the federal CARES Act to dole out to states for schools. The guv’s office said the money will prioritize districts and students that have the highest remote learning needs and have most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $37 million for higher ed is from the CARES Act money the state received and will be used for unbudgeted expenses in response to the pandemic.

The UW System said it will receive $19 million of that money.

The guv’s office said the money is in addition to the more than $354 million K-12 schools and higher ed institutions have already received directly under the CARES Act.

“I’ve always said what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state, so I am hopeful this funding can help alleviate expenses already incurred and further creative efforts to transition between in-person learning and distance learning seamlessly as we prepare for the upcoming fall semester and continue to fight COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” Evers said.

See the release here.

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CESA 6 Tells The Story In Video

By John Forester | June 17, 2020

Superintendents in CESA 6 worked together as a region to create this video representation of the work done during the public health emergency.

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The Wheeler Report: Education and COVID-19 – Part II – TECHNOLOGY

By John Forester | June 17, 2020

The Wheeler Report is continuing it’s series on public education and COVID-19.  Part II of the series is on Technology issues.  The SAA continues to serve as a resource to The Wheeler Report in the development of this series.

Check out Part II of the series here.

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The Wheeler Report Begins New Series on Public Schools During COVID-19

By John Forester | June 11, 2020

The Wheeler Report is starting a new series looking at the issues impacting K-12 education in Wisconsin from where the situation started, to issues schools are addressing, to what lies ahead in the fall.  The SAA will serve as a resource to The Wheeler Report in the development of this series.

Check out Part One of the series here.

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More Districts Tell The Story

By John Forester | June 10, 2020

The following superintendents have sent letters to their districts’ legislators “telling their story” about how they are serving their students during the COVID-19 crisis:  Kellie Bohn (Genoa City), Mark Gruen (Royall), Jim Brewer (Clinton), Mitch Wainwright (Mineral Point), James Bena (Marion), Cassandra Schug (Watertown), Mark Elworthy (St. Francis).

The SAA encourages other districts to tell their story to their legislators as well.  Forward those letters to the SAA and we will keep posting them.

COME ON!  LET’S TELL THE STORY!

Genoa City Legislator Letter

Royall Legislator Letter

Clinton Legislator Letter

Mineral Point Legislator Letter

Marion Legislator Letter

Watertown Legislator Letter

St. Francis Legislator Letter

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2021 State Superintendent Election and the SAA Endorsement Process

By John Forester | June 10, 2020

Wisconsin voters will elect a new State Superintendent in April 2021.

As the SAA reported a couple of weeks ago, two candidates have announced their campaigns to become the next State Superintendent, Pecatonica Superintendent Jill Underly and Assistant State Superintendent Sheila Briggs.  The SAA anticipates a crowded primary field to be assembled before the January 5, 2021 candidate filing deadline.  Why?  We are aware of several other potential candidates who are currently weighing a bid.  Also, using history as our guide, an open seat for State Superintendent tends to draw a large candidate pool.

The SAA does have a candidate endorsement process that will begin this fall.  The process includes a candidate survey of policy positions (responses from which we will post on the SAA blog) and possibly candidate interviews.  The SAA will announce its candidate endorsement (if we endorse at all) after the primary on February 16, 2021.  SAA campaign contributions will likely follow our endorsement.  The general election will be held on April 6, 2021.

As campaigns contact SAA members seeking financial support and/or an endorsement, members are obviously free to do so in the short term or wait until the SAA process is completed after the primary.

If you should have any comments or questions regarding the SAA’s approach to the race for State Superintendent, please contact SAA Executive Director John Forester.

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