Category Archives: State Issue

Inauguration day is here for governor, lawmakers & others

From WisPolitics.com

“– Tony Evers’ inaugural ceremony is set to kick off at 11 a.m. as the Dem becomes Wisconsin’s 46th guv.

“Along with Evers, Mandela Barnes will be sworn in as lt. guv, Josh Kaul will be take the oath as attorney general, and Sarah Godlewski will be sworn in as the new treasurer. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Doug La Follette will begin his 11th term as Dems hold all of the state’s constitutional offices for the first time in more than 30 years.

“Lawmakers will be sworn in early this afternoon as Republicans start their fifth straight session with majorities in both houses. The GOP advantage in the Senate will increase by one seat to 19-14. Meanwhile, the Republican majority in the Assembly will drop one to 63-36. Continue reading Inauguration day is here for governor, lawmakers & others

Senate education committee: new members and the school districts they represent

Senate committee membership for the 2019-20 legislative session has been announced. As we reported previously, former Berlin school board member state Senator Luther Olsen is returning as chairman of the Senate Committee on Education.

Former Assembly Reps. and newly elected Senators Dale Kooyenga and Kathy Bernier are new to the committee as well as former Somerset school board member Patty Schachtner, who was elected in a special election last year.  Below is the full committee roster and the school districts they represent. If you are a board member or administrator in one of these districts you are in a prime position to influence committee action on K-12 legislation this session. Continue reading Senate education committee: new members and the school districts they represent

Stanford Taylor tabbed as next state superintendent

From DPI: “Governor-elect and State Superintendent Tony Evers announced today his intention to appoint current Assistant State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor as the next state superintendent following his oath of office on Jan. 7.

“Stanford Taylor is the first female, African-American appointed to serve as an assistant state superintendent. She will be Wisconsin’s first African-American state superintendent of public instruction. Carolyn currently oversees the Special Education Team, one of the agency’s largest teams; the Student Services / Prevention and Wellness Team, which focuses on student safety, support, and engagement; and the residential schools for students who are blind and visually impaired in Janesville and students who are deaf and hard of hearing in Delavan. She is the 2018 Virginia Hart Special Recognition recipient, an honor bestowed by the Department of Administration, Division of Personnel Management, to female state employees who are making a difference through their service to Wisconsin.”

The WASB applauds the choice of Carolyn Stanford Taylor to be the next state superintendent of public instruction and looks forward to working with her on supporting, promoting and advancing public education in Wisconsin.

Full DPI Release: Carolyn Stanford Taylor to be appointed next state superintendent

Racine opts to promote voucher funding transparency

As the impact of taxpayer-funded private school vouchers grows, Racine’s mayor is doing his part to inform taxpayers about the effect vouchers are having on property tax bills.

According to the Racine Journal Times, “Property owners in the City of Racine will receive an insert along with their tax bills this year showing where their tax money goes, with a focus on voucher school funding.”  The insert, included with all Racine property tax bills, shows how total property tax funds collected in the city are split among various units of government, and includes detailed information about the Racine Unified School District tax levy. Continue reading Racine opts to promote voucher funding transparency

School voices heard by commission but the real work is just beginning

When the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding held its final meeting  on Dec. 19, it was clear that the voices of school leaders who testified at hearings held around the state and those who submitted written comments were heard. As Commission members worked their way through option papers on various school funding topics, the stories school leaders told were frequently cited.

See Statements from the co-chairs: Rep. Kitchens; Sen. Olsen

In the same way school leaders advocated effectively to persuade the legislators who were members of the Commission, now it will be time for school leaders to advocate with their own legislators to ensure these vital recommendations become law. Continue reading School voices heard by commission but the real work is just beginning

Sen. Luther Olsen named chair of Senate education committee

State Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) returns as chair of the Senate Committee on Education. Sen. Olsen is a former Berlin school board member and has chaired the committee every session the GOP has controlled the Senate since being elected in 2004.  He was also chair of the Assembly Education Committee from 1997-2003.

Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has announced the standing committees (including several new ones) for the state Senate in the upcoming 2019-20 legislative session as well as the chairs.  Vice chairs and the remaining committee members have not been announced yet.  The new session begins on January 7, 2019.

Option papers released for final Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding meeting

A set of 19  option papers on various school funding topics has been released by the co-chairs of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, state Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and state Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay). (See pictured at left).

The options presented in the papers, prepared by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) in consultation with the co-chairs, will form the basis for the Commission’s discussions when it meets on Wednesday, Dec. 19. (See previous post.)