State Assembly committee membership has been set for the 2019-20 legislative session. As we previously shared here, Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt is returning as chairman of the Assembly Committee on Education. Included in the committee membership are two newly-elected members who are also sitting school board members: Rep. Timothy Ramthun (Kewaskum) and Rep. Robert Wittke (Racine Unified, not running for reelection in April). Rep. Don Vruwink is also a sitting school board member (Milton) and Vice-chair Rep. Joel Kitchens is a former school board member (Sturgeon Bay) and chaired the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding.
Below are the other committee members including the school districts represented by each. 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 Assembly 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
NOW is the time to get started on your advocacy efforts with your state legislators before the 2019-20 legislative session begins on January 7. Make a friend before you need a friend! For more tips and advice from WASB on advocacy, see the newly updated Legislative Advocacy Toolkit. Here are some things to consider for laying the groundwork for your advocacy plan: Continue reading December advocacy tip: Lay the foundation for successful legislative advocacy
If you attended your WASB fall regional meeting, you heard us talk about what a unique opportunity we have for K-12 education heading into the Nov. 6 election and the next state budget. We have a public concerned about K-12 and showing historic levels of support for investing in public schools. This combination has led to support for K-12 being a central issue in the race for governor and in high-profile state legislative races.
The period between the election and the start of the next legislative session in January is the ideal time to begin (or continue) developing relationships with your state legislators. As former legislative staff, Dan Rossmiller & Chris Kulow will describe the inner workings of legislative offices with tips and insight on how to make efficient and effective contacts on behalf of your schools. Continue reading Plan to attend one of the new WASB Legislative Advocacy Workshops
With what was likely the last floor action for the 2017-18 legislative session completed, we encourage you to take the opportunity to thank state legislators who have done positive things for K-12 public education. Showing gratitude and giving credit when lawmakers do things that we support is a crucial component in building relationships with them. We don’t want them to feel we were unappreciative the next time we ask for their support.
Overall, it was a very good session for public education and there were many lawmakers from both parties who showed a strong interest in working with their local school boards and administrators as well as with the WASB. We are highlighting only a few examples in this post, which is neither exhaustive nor complete, so if you don’t see your legislators and they have been helpful to you in some way please reach out to thank them. Continue reading May Advocacy Tip: Legislators who deserve our thanks
A controversial proposal before Congress that would redirect federal Impact Aid funding away from public school districts and toward education savings accounts (ESAs) for students in military families is drawing criticism from the very families it is intended to benefit.
H.R. 5199, the Education Savings Accounts for Military Families Act, would re-purpose federal Impact Aid funding into a voucher-like program that would create ESAs military families could use to cover various education expenses – including private school tuition and private tutoring. Continue reading Federal plan to create “voucher-like” program for military-connected students draws criticism
The Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding has begun what will be a series of hearings around the state to take testimony from the public on the state’s funding formula. The first hearing is set to take place Friday, February 2 in Milwaukee. The rest of the hearing dates and locations have not yet been announced.
It is important that public school board members and administrators testify at these hearings. The commission needs to hear the challenges the current funding system creates for your school district and, most importantly, the impact it has on opportunities for your students. Continue reading February Advocacy Tip: Prepare to testify at school funding hearings