Category Archives: National Issue

WASB joins 40 other state school boards associations opposing FCC’s proposed E-Rate cap

The WASB has joined with at least 40 other state school board associations in signing onto a joint letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) opposing the Federal Communication Commission’s proposed cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF) and a sub-cap on the Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) and Rural Health Care Programs.  Federal E-Rate allocations play a vital role in helping to fund connecting schools to high-speed broadband.  (See previous post.)

In addition, the WASB will be submitting additional, separate comments of its own. The deadline for submitting comments under the current reply comment period ends Monday (Aug 26) at 11:00 p.m. CDT.   We will post the WASB’s comments to this blog as soon as they are finished so that any board wishing to submit its own comments can use the WASB’s comments in fashioning those comments.

Continue reading WASB joins 40 other state school boards associations opposing FCC’s proposed E-Rate cap

Bill introduced to raise legal age for tobacco/nicotine/vaping products

Senate Bill 364, authored by Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green, pictured) and Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield) and a bipartisan cadre of fellow lawmakers, has been introduced in the legislature.  This bill changes the age for purchasing cigarettes, tobacco products, or nicotine products from 18 to 21, and imposes a minimum age for purchasing vapor products.

The WASB supports this bill based on our member-approved resolutions and has provided a sample resolution for boards to use to express their support for the bill on our Boards Taking Action webpage.  There you can find resolutions passed by other school boards on various issues as well as WASB sample resolutions that boards can use for the basis of their own resolutions.  Click on the gray box labeled “Sample Letters and Resolutions” and look for the “Sample Board Resolution in Support of Tobacco 21 Legislation in Wisconsin”

From the lawmakers’ cosponsorship memo: Continue reading Bill introduced to raise legal age for tobacco/nicotine/vaping products

Sen. Olsen: States must take the lead to make education policy a bipartisan priority

Wisconsin state Senator Luther Olsen (R) penned a joint opinion column in The Hill with Washington state Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos (D) that calls on state legislators to take the lead in returning education policymaking to its legacy as a top bipartisan priority.

The state lawmakers write:

“As our national politics has become more partisan than ever, it falls upon us as state legislators to take the lead in returning education policymaking to its legacy as a bipartisan priority. The good news is, there is an opportunity before us.” Continue reading Sen. Olsen: States must take the lead to make education policy a bipartisan priority

Research continues to show increased school funding equates to better outcomes for students

New research continues to show that funding does matter in education.  From Chalkbeat:

“A 2018 overview of the research on education spending found that more money consistently meant better outcomes for students — higher test scores, higher graduation rates, and sometimes even higher wages as adults. It was enough for Northwestern economist Kirabo Jackson to say the question was ‘essentially settled.’

“Since then, the research hits have just kept on coming.”

Included in the story are four new studies from around the country, including one in Wisconsin: Continue reading Research continues to show increased school funding equates to better outcomes for students

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

K-12 per-pupil spending in Wisconsin lags national average

Spending on public K-12 education in Wisconsin lagged the national average by about $233 per pupil in the 2016-17 school year, according to new figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Those figures are the most recent available and rank Wisconsin 22nd among states in per-pupil spending and 23rd if the District of Columbia is included. Continue reading K-12 per-pupil spending in Wisconsin lags national average

50th annual PDK poll results: Public supports more funding for schools, teachers

For the past half-century, Phi Delta Kappa (PDK), an organization of professional educators, has released a nationwide poll this time of year that attempts to capture the American public’s attitudes toward public education.

For the 19th consecutive year, Americans have named the lack of funding as the biggest problem facing their local schools and by a higher margin than in recent years.

Nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of those surveyed say teacher pay in their community is too low, while just 6 percent say it’s too high.  Further, for the first time since the question was asked in 1969, a majority of respondents (54 percent) say they would not want their child to become a public school teacher, often citing poor pay and benefits among their reasons. Continue reading 50th annual PDK poll results: Public supports more funding for schools, teachers