The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) was scheduled to wrap up its work on the state budget on Wednesday June 16 but Co-Chair Senator Alberta Darling’s office has announced they will not meet tomorrow as GOP lawmakers continue to grapple with transportation, public financing for a Milwaukee Bucks arena and other issues. The committee hopes to meet Thursday or Friday of this week. Stay tuned…
While we encourage boards to continue to contact their legislators about the full range of concerns with the budget (see previous posts), our meetings with legislative leadership suggest that boards are likely to have the most influence with respect to the following issues over the next few days (click on the title for more information):
- Teacher Licensure Changes: In response to public outcry legislators are re-examining this issue. Ask your legislators to remove these provisions from the budget so they can be addressed as separate legislation. See our sample board resolution and letter to legislators.
- Teacher & Administrator Contract Timelines: We are unsure what problem this is trying to address but we do know it will cause problems for boards. Tell your legislators that you need timelines that allow boards to compete for new college graduates and allow enough time to finalize staffing before the school year begins. Ask them to remove this from the budget. See our sample board resolution and letter to legislators.
- Sports and Extra-Curricular Activities: The argument here is: “these parents pay taxes so they have a right to have their kids participate in school activities even though they are not enrolled at the school”. Explain that these sports and other activities are an extension of the school curriculum and not a community recreation program. Ask them to remove this from the budget. See our sample board resolution and letter to legislators.
Legislators are not “dug in” on the above issues as they are on other higher profile ones. A call to legislative offices today or tomorrow could tip the scales. For your convenience here is a link to the Find you legislators map. Just click on where you live and it will tell you who your legislators are and how to contact them.