It will be a busy week at the Capitol this week with several hearings scheduled on legislation related to school boards and K-12 education:
Tuesday, September 8
Senate Bill 217 Relating to: allowing a school board member to serve as a volunteer coach or extracurricular activity supervisor. (WASB supports and helped draft this bill and it is based on WASB Resolution 6.22 approved by Delegates to the 2015 WASB Delegate Assembly.)
Senate Bill 244 Relating to: allowing a school board president to fill certain vacancies on a school board of a common, union high, or unified school district. This bill is a response to a situation in the Racine Unified School District where the eight remaining members of the board are deadlocked 4-4 and have not been able to agree on a replacement for a board member who resigned earlier this year. (WASB opposes making this change on a statewide and permanent basis.) Continue reading Busy Week Ahead at the Capitol: Task Force Meets and Bills Affecting School Boards Scheduled for Public Hearings
As he prepared to kick off his presidential campaign,Governor Scott Walker signed the two-year, $72.7 billion state budget Sunday after issuing 104 vetoes–about twice as many as he did in the last two budgets he approved.
Participation in Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
The Governor partially vetoed the language that relates to the prohibition of school district membership in an athletic association unless the association requires member school districts to permit home-based private educational program pupils residing in the district to participate in interscholastic athletics in the district. The Governor stated his objection related to not believing state statutes should stipulate the participation and membership requirements of a private athletic association.
This could potentially put schools in an awkward position since state law now states that school districts must allow home-schooled students who reside within the district to participate in athletics on the same basis a students enrolled in the district; however, the existing WIAA rules require that athletes be enrolled full-time at the public school to be eligible to compete in WIAA-sanctioned activities. Continue reading Governor Signs Budget; Includes Several Education-Related Vetoes
Late Thursday evening (July 2), the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) completed its work on the state budget bill. At this point, it is not clear which house (i.e., Senate or Assembly) will take up the budget bill first, due to jockeying between the two houses over the consideration of prevailing wage reform and whether that matter will indeed be included in the budget bill.
Among the K-12 related changes made by the JFC included:
- removing the most controversial changes to teacher licensing requirements (see below);
- restoring the course options program while allowing institutions of higher education to charge tuition and fees to a pupil or his or her parents or guardians if the pupil receives postsecondary credit for a course taken through the course options program; and
- clarifying the language that would allow home schooled students to participate in public school sports and extracurricular activities.
These changes were made as part of a final “wrap-up” motion adopted by committee members on a 12-4 party-line vote. Continue reading JFC Wraps Up Work on Budget, Bill Now Moves to Senate & Assembly
The Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow at 10 AM to finish its work on the state budget. Part of the committee’s action will be to vote on a “wrap up” omnibus motion covering all areas of the budget commonly referred to as a “999 motion.” A copy of the motion has not yet been released but the WASB has heard from Capitol sources that the following changes to education-related provisions may be included:
- Teacher Licensure Changes: The more contentious changes will likely be removed but the provisions aimed at technical education will remain.
- Sports and Extra-Curricular Activities: We have heard that this provision will be tweaked by removing private school students from being able to participate in public school sports and other activities but the requirement to extend these privileges to homeschool students will remain.
There may be other education provisions included as well. WASB will update members when we obtain the motion language.
The Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education (FCA4PE) is sponsoring 6 rallies throughout the Fox Cities on successive Tuesdays. Three rallies took place in Appleton, Neenah and Kaukauna on June 8, 16, and 23. Three more are scheduled in Kimberly, Menasha and Little Chute.
The remaining rallies are Tuesday evenings from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and will be held at the following locations: Continue reading Community/Parents’ Groups Rally In Support of Public Education
The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) was scheduled to wrap up its work on the state budget on Wednesday June 16 but Co-Chair Senator Alberta Darling’s office has announced they will not meet tomorrow as GOP lawmakers continue to grapple with transportation, public financing for a Milwaukee Bucks arena and other issues. The committee hopes to meet Thursday or Friday of this week. Stay tuned…
While we encourage boards to continue to contact their legislators about the full range of concerns with the budget (see previous posts), our meetings with legislative leadership suggest that boards are likely to have the most influence with respect to the following issues over the next few days (click on the title for more information): Continue reading State Budget Update
The Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB), the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), the School Administrators Alliance (SAA), the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA), the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association (WADA), the Wisconsin Conference Commissioners Association (WCCA), and the Wisconsin Association of School Councils (WASC) sent a joint letter to legislative leaders requesting that language in the Joint Finance Committee K-12 education omnibus motion relating to participation in school district sports and extra-curricular activities be removed from the state budget proposal. Continue reading WASB Leads Coalition Opposed to Budget Changes on Participation in Sports and Extracurricular Activities