This week, the Senate version —Senate Bill 236— of a bill that would impose significant new requirements for competitive bidding of public construction contracts by school districts surged through the legislative process.
Yesterday (Thursday, Oct 5), the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government voted along party lines to give a favorable recommendation to Senate Bill 236, which had received its only public hearing to date just two days earlier. The bill now moves to the full state Senate for a vote. Continue reading Bill Mandating Use of Competitive Bidding for School Construction Advancing Rapidly
The 2017 WASB Policy and Resolutions Committee will hold its first meeting tonight and tomorrow in Stevens Point. The committee will review resolutions submitted by WASB member boards to begin the process of determining whether to advance those resolutions to the Delegate Assembly in January.
Included among the items the committee will review and discuss are the following resolutions submitted by member boards: Continue reading WASB Policy & Resolutions Committee Holding First Meeting
The Wheeler Report, a Capitol-based, paid subscription news service that provides subscribers with e-mail reports about current goings-on at the State Capitol, reported this morning on a piece of legislation under development by Assembly Education Committee chairman, state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), which Rep. Thiesfeldt has labelled the “Teacher Protection Act.”
The WASB has been engaged in what we have understood to be strictly confidential discussions with Rep. Thiesfeldt and his staff regarding our concerns about this legislation. Now that this proposal has become the subject of public news reports, we are sharing what has been reported because we believe this subject matter will be of interest to many school boards and administrators. Continue reading Wheeler Report: Rep. Thiesfeldt Drafting “Teacher Protection Act”
The state budget signed into law today (Sept. 21) significantly invests in our public school students and districts, one of the best investments we can make as a state. The substantial increases in per-pupil aid and other categorical aids are welcome and vitally important to our public school districts that serve the vast majority of students in Wisconsin and are tasked with preparing all of them for college and/or careers.
I also applaud the mental health-related supports for students and school districts included in the state budget. These needs have been overlooked for too long.
I am disappointed that neither revenue limit relief for low-spending districts nor an increase/expansion of sparsity aid were included in the final budget. Both are targeted to school districts that have special challenges and this was a lost opportunity. I am also disappointed with the further expansions of private school vouchers and special needs vouchers which continue to take us down the path of funding dual education systems when we have not been able to maintain even inflationary increases for our constitutionally mandated public school system. In addition, several policy items were included in the budget (e.g. teacher and administrator licensure changes, scheduling of referendum restrictions and restrictions for energy savings projects) that will impact the efficient operations of school districts.
Ultimately, I understand that a budget comes down to making hard choices with available resources and there will be provisions that school board members statewide both support and oppose. On behalf of all 422 locally elected school boards in Wisconsin, I want to thank the governor and members of the Legislature for their public service and for the positive items included for public schools. I also look forward to continuing to work with both the governor and lawmakers for the remainder of this legislative session.
Read: WASB Summary of Key 2017-19 State Budget Provisions for Public Schools
A state Senate committee vote has been scheduled for Tuesday (Sept. 19) on a bill — Senate Bill 169 — that, as introduced, would repeal Wisconsin’s state “gun-free school zones” statute.
The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety included the SB 169, also known as the permit-less carry bill, as the final item in its public notice of an executive session (i.e., a committee vote on the bill) for Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 411 South, State Capitol. Continue reading Committee Vote Scheduled on Right-to-Carry Bill With Implications for Schools
The Assembly Education Committee, chaired by state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, held a public hearing on Aug. 24 on the following bills:
Assembly Bill 382 – This bill relates to screening school district employees for tuberculosis. The WASB worked with the Wisconsin Association of School Nurses and state Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay) to develop this bill.
WASB supports this bill and believes it will safeguard student, staff and public health while reducing school district costs. See: WASB Testimony on AB 382 Continue reading Employee TB Screening and State Aid Payment Schedule Bills Receive Public Hearing
The process of developing the proposed resolutions voted on by the Delegate Assembly begins at the local school board level. Boards adopt and submit their ideas to the WASB in the form of board resolutions. They are due September 15.
Resolutions adopted by the Delegate Assembly determine the official position of the WASB on issues and remain in force until amended or repealed. For that reason, we encourage your board to review the resolutions contained in the 2017 Resolutions Book to see if there are resolutions your board thinks should be repealed or amended. Alternatively, your board may think new topics should be addressed. Either way, submitting a board resolution is the way to propose those changes. Continue reading Deadline to Submit Board Resolutions for WASB Policy & Resolutions Committee is Sept. 15