Wisconsin Schools Remain Closed

By John Forester | May 13, 2020

Attorneys with BoardmanClark have advised the SAA that the State Supreme Court’s decision does not invalidate the portion of the Stay At Home Order closing schools.  Wisconsin schools remain closed.

We will post legal updates on this issue as soon as they become available.

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State Supreme Court Strikes Down Evers’ Stay at Home Order

By John Forester | May 13, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

A split state Supreme Court today struck down the Evers administration’s latest stay-at-home order, ruling it should’ve been issued as a rule to give lawmakers oversight of the process.

Conservatives Pat Roggensack, Rebecca Bradley, Daniel Kelly and Annette Ziegler ruled DHS Secretary Andrea Palm’s order confining all people to their homes, forbidding travel and closing businesses exceeded her statutory authority.

GOP lawmakers, who filed the suit, had asked the court for an injunction preventing enforcement of the order, but to stay that to provide time to work out a deal with the Evers administration.

But the conservative majority noted more than two weeks had passed since it began considering the case.

“Therefore, we trust that the Legislature and Palm have placed the interests of the people of Wisconsin first and have been working together in good faith to establish a lawful rule that addresses COVID-19 and its devastating effects on Wisconsin,” the majority wrote. “People, businesses and other institutions need to know how to proceed and what is expected of them. Therefore, we place the responsibility for this future law-making with the Legislature and DHS where it belongs.”

Read the decision here.

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More Districts Tell The Story

By John Forester | May 13, 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:  Kevin Bruggink (Oostburg), Kyle Cronan (Port Edwards), Wendy Dzurick (Marinette), Samantha Polek (Linn J6), Phil Ertl (Wauwatosa), James Sebert (Fond du Lac), Jeff Koenig (Stanley-Boyd), Ray Przekurat (Iola-Scandinavia).

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!

Oostburg Legislator Letter

Port Edwards Legislator Letter

Marinette Legislator Letter

Linn J6 Legislator Letter

Wauwatosa Legislator Letter

Fond du Lac Legislator Letter

Stanley-Boyd Legislator Letter

Iola-Scandinavia Legislator Letter

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Districts “Tell Their Story” to Legislators

By John Forester | May 13, 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:  Ben Niehaus (Florence), Jeff Eide (Blair-Taylor), Steve Pophal (Janesville).

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!

Florence Legislator Letter

Blair-Taylor Legislator Letter

Janesville Legislator Letter

 

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Green Bay Tells Their Story

By John Forester | May 12, 2020

Green Bay superintendent Michelle Langenfeld has sent a letter to their districts’ legislators “telling their story” about how they are serving their students during the COVID-19 crisis.

Check it out here.

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Districts “Tell Their Story” to Legislators

By John Forester | May 12, 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:  Damian LaCroix (Howard-Suamico), Paul Fischer (Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan), Timothy Raymond (Cambria-Friesland), Mark Rollefson (Jefferson), Claire Martin (Cedar Grove-Belgium), Mary Ann Hardebeck (Eau Claire), Todd Timm (Hortonville), Jill Sorbie (Delavan-Darien), Lance Bagstad (Arcadia), Allyssa Andersen (Linn J4), Thomas Andres (River Valley).

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!

Howard-Suamico Legislator Letter

Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan Legislator Letter

Cambria-Friesland Legislator Letter

Jefferson Legislator Letter

Cedar Grove-Belgium Legislator Letter

Eau Claire Legislator Letter

Hortonville Legislator Letter

Delavan-Darien Legislator Letter

Arcadia Legislator Letter

Linn J4 Legislator Letter

River Valley Legislator Letter

 

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Latest Guidance on FFCRA Leave

By John Forester | May 11, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent School Law FYI, the BoardmanClark Law Firm focuses on what school districts should know from the latest Department of Labor guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the BoardmanClark Law Firm.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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Underly Announces Candidacy for State Superintendent

By John Forester | May 7, 2020

From WisPolitics.com

Pecatonica Area School District Superintendent Jill Underly announced today she’s running for state schools superintendent in 2021.

Underly said in her announcement she has more than 20 years of experience as an educator and administrator in rural and urban districts. She’s been with the Pecatonica school district since 2015.

She described herself as “a first-generation college graduate from a working-class union household” who knows the “value of strong public schools and the inspiring power of great educators.”

Underly previously worked as a federal programs consultant and assistant director at DPI and an academic adviser at UW-Madison.

Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor, appointed by Gov. Tony Evers to replace him as head of the agency, isn’t seeking a full term. The primary, if needed, will be Feb. 16.

Sachin Chheda of Nation Consulting is running Underly’s campaign.

See the release here.

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State Law Waivers and Requests Available in Light of School Closures

By John Forester | May 7, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent School Law FYI, the BoardmanClark Law Firm focuses on state law waivers and requests available in light of the COVID-19 school closures.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the BoardmanClark Law Firm.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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LFB: Tax Collections Down Significantly in April

By John Forester | May 6, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

State tax collections dropped significantly in April as Wisconsin felt the impact of COVID-19, which will “undoubtedly decrease’’ previous projections the general fund would finish the fiscal year with a surplus of nearly $1.1 billion, according to a new LFB memo.

Still, Legislative Fiscal Bureau Director Bob Lang wrote to lawmakers today it is difficult to get a true handle on the state’s fiscal picture because the tax filing deadline has been pushed back to July. What’s more, several factors may soften the blow on the state’s bottom line.

The state took in more than $1.1 billion in tax collections last month, $870 million less than it collected for April 2019. For the first 10 months of the fiscal year, tax collections are $313 million less than the same period for 2018-19.

Along with the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the filing extension impacted the April collections. The month is typically one of the state’s highest for tax collections with the usual April 15 filing deadline.

In January, LFB had projected the state to finish the fiscal year on June 30 with nearly $1.1 billion in the general fund. In today’s memo, Lang wrote “that balance will undoubtedly decrease” due to the drop in April collections, along with an expected dip in May and June as well. Still, the full extent won’t be known until after the July 15 filing deadline.

He also laid out several factors that could mitigate the expected drop:

*in January, LFB projected a surplus in state revenues would result in a $189 million transfer to the budget stabilization fund from the general fund. That is unlikely to happen now.

*the Evers administration last week announced a 5 percent cut to the GPR operations budgets of state agencies, a move expected to save about $70 million.

*the nearly $2 billion the state is expected to receive under the federal CARES Act is designated for expenditures incurred due to the pandemic and can’t be used to replace drops in state revenue. Still, Lang noted there are “ongoing discussions that the guidelines may be modified or that additional federal funds will be made available under subsequent legislation to allow for the replacement of revenue shortfalls.”

*the rainy day fund will have a balance of $655 million at the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year. That could be tapped with legislation allowing the money to be accessed.

Read the memo here.

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