All posts by drossmiller

PDK Poll finds widespread frustration among teachers, consensus that schools are underfunded

Since 1969, Phi Delta Kappa (PDK), a US professional organization for educators, has conducted an annual survey of public attitudes and opinion about public education and published the results. This year, for the first time since 2000, the poll surveyed teachers as well as parents and members of the public. The 2019 version—the 51st annual PDK poll–surveyed 2,389 people online in late April, including 1,083 parents of school-age children and 556 public school teachers.

Among the key findings of this year’s poll are the following:

Continue reading PDK Poll finds widespread frustration among teachers, consensus that schools are underfunded

Senate education committee to hold public hearing on August 13

The Senate Education Committee will hold a public hearing on four bills on Tuesday, August 13 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 411 South, State Capitol.  (View hearing notice.)

This will be the committee’s first public hearing of the 2019-20 legislative session. 

The committee is chaired by state Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon, pictured at left) and is scheduled to take public testimony on the following bills: Continue reading Senate education committee to hold public hearing on August 13

What school board members should know about the U.S. Census

Next year’s U.S. Census, known as Census 2020, will be the 24th decennial census.  National Census Day, the reference day used for the census count, will be April 1, 2020.

The census provides a snapshot of national, state and local demographics. The data collected help the federal government decide where to focus its attention and resources (i.e., funding).  For that reason, ensuring an accurate census count is important for states and schools.

Studies suggest that states can lose between $1,000 and $1,300 for each person not counted. Continue reading What school board members should know about the U.S. Census

Congress, White House reach federal budget deal

President Trump and Congressional leaders reached a federal budget deal last night, with the announcement coming via a Presidential tweet. The agreement, which still needs to pass Congress, comes days before Congress is set to leave town for its August recess.

One key feature of the deal is that it calls for raising limits on federal discretionary spending by $320 billion. Only about $77 billion of the new spending authorized by the deal would be offset by spending cuts, less than the $150 billion in spending cuts the White House had called for earlier. Under the package, both defense spending and non-defense spending, including spending for education programs, would increase. Continue reading Congress, White House reach federal budget deal

2019-21 state budget recap—what’s in, what’s out

Here’s a quick recap of some of the key K-12 education  provisions in the state’s new biennial budget as signed into law by the governor (with partial vetoes).

What’s In:

Revenue Limits:

  • Revenue limits for all districts will increase by $175 in the 2019-20 school year and by an additional $179 in the 2020-21 school year.
  • The “low revenue ceiling” for the state’s lowest spending districts, which was set at $9,400 in 2018-19 is increased to $9,700 in the 2019-20 school year and to $10,000 in 2020-21 and in each subsequent school year. (Note: This adjustment in the low revenue ceiling may not be available for certain low revenue districts in which a referendum to exceed the revenue limits was held and failed in specified years.)

Continue reading 2019-21 state budget recap—what’s in, what’s out

State Congressmen express concerns about FCC’s proposed E-Rate cap; Comment period extended–Still time to weigh in

In a letter  to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Wisconsin Congressmen Mark Pocan (D-WI 2nd) and Ron Kind (D-WI 3rd) raised concerns about the proposed cap on federal E-Rate allocations that are used to fund school connectivity to high-speed broadband (see previous post) as well as the overall cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF), which supplies E-Rate funds.  The two joined with several other House members in expressing concerns.

Continue reading State Congressmen express concerns about FCC’s proposed E-Rate cap; Comment period extended–Still time to weigh in

Two additional budget vetoes that will impact schools

While a good deal of attention has been paid to the governor’s vetoes pertaining to per pupil aid and supplemental per pupil aid, there are a number of other vetoes that will impact schools that school leaders should be aware of.   Here are two that will have the biggest impact on school districts:

Personal Computing Devices: A partial veto by the governor effectively eliminates funding (roughly $9.2 million annually) for the personal electronic computing devices grant program effective July 1, 2019. Continue reading Two additional budget vetoes that will impact schools