During the summer and fall of each even-numbered year, the Joint Legislative Council selects a number of subjects for study from suggestions submitted by legislators.
As noted in a previous post, two 2018 study committees will be of particular interest to school leaders: the Legislative Council Study Committee on Identification and Management of Dyslexia; and the Legislative Council Study Committee on the Investment and Use of the School Trust Funds. The membership of those two study groups has been finalized.
The Dyslexia Study Committee will be chaired by state Rep. Bob Kulp (R- Stratford) with state Sen. Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset), a former Somerset school board member, as vice chair. Other legislators named to the panel are state Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) and state Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah).
Also named to this committee is current Green Bay School Board President Dr. Brenda Warren. Dr. Warren, a pediatrician and the mother of an adult son who struggled with dyslexia, is also a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership. Her dissertation research centers on the barriers preventing scientific reading research from being applied in the classroom and what it will take to close the science to practice gap in reading instruction.
Other public education representatives on the panel include: Nancy Dressel, an Instructional Coach/Curriculum Specialist in the Hudson School District; Donna Hejtmanek, a Reading Specialist in the Northland Pines School District; and Michael Weber, District Administrator of the Port Washington-Saukville School District.
The School Trust Funds Study Committee will be chaired by state Rep. Terry Katsma (R-Oostburg) with state Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) as vice chair. Other legislator-members of this panel are state Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville), a former Cedarburg School Board member, and state Rep. Don Vruwink (D-Milton), the current Vice President of the Milton School Board.
In the recently concluded 2017-18 legislative session, Sen. Stroebel authored legislation (see previous post) to change the way the moneys held in school trust funds are invested. That bill would have eliminated the authority of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), the governing body that administers the Common School Fund, to make loans through the state trust fund loan program. Instead, the BCPL could delegate authority to the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) to invest these moneys in the same manner SWIB invests the moneys belonging to the other funds it manages. The legislation was not advanced out of committee.
Public education community representatives on the School Trust Funds study committee include Kim Bannigan, Learning Information Systems Coordinator for the DeForest Area School District.