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
Governor Scott Walker is scheduled to sign 90 bills, including several affecting K-12 education, during a marathon bill signing ceremony scheduled to last from noon until 6:00 p.m. on Monday (April 16).
Among the bills scheduled to be signed are:
Assembly Bill 332, which restores local control over the number of signatures required for the nomination of candidates to the school board in school districts that contain territory lying within a 2nd class city. Continue reading Governor to sign more K-12 education bills into law Monday
Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) will return as the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC), the powerful state budget-writing committee. Two new committee members, Rep. Mark Born of Beaver Dam and Rep. Mike Rohrkaste of Neenah, were appointed to replace retiring Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) while Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) was removed from the committee.
See the full list below, along with the school districts each represents. If you are a board member or administrator in one of these districts you are in a great position to have the ear of legislators who are very influential in the development of the state budget: Continue reading School Districts Represented by GOP Members of Joint Finance Committee
Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) will not be required to take part in a controversial state-designed takeover program next year. MPS received news this week of its reprieve via a letter from state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers to MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, indicating that MPS is unlikely to meet the criteria for takeover during the 2016-17 school year. Continue reading No State Takeover of MPS Schools This Year
According to their recently released Forward Agenda, Assembly Republicans want to explore the concept of Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) under which taxpayer-funded grants would be given to parents and placed in these accounts to be used for education-related expenses, including private school tuition.
According to Molly Beck of the Wisconsin State Journal, similar savings accounts are used in five states — Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee. Most of these programs are a new phenomenon. Only the Arizona & Florida ESAs existed in the 2014-15 school year. Typically these programs have income and other eligibility restrictions for participation. Nevada is the only state that has implemented a program that allows any parent — regardless of income or a child’s disability — to use the accounts provided their child has attended a public school for at least 100 days.
Continue reading Assembly GOP to Consider Education Savings Accounts
From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Demond Means, a Milwaukee Public Schools graduate who heads one of the state’s highest-performing school systems, has been tapped to lead — at least for now — a Milwaukee turnaround district mandated by the Legislature in hopes of turning around some of the city’s poorest-performing schools, County Executive Chris Abele is expected to announce Thursday.
Abele is scheduled to introduce Means, superintendent of the Mequon-Thiensville School District, as commissioner of the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program at a noon news conference. Continue reading Milwaukee County Exec. Selects Mequon-Thiensville Superintendent to Lead MPS Turnaround District
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele would name a commissioner to oversee the turnover of up to five struggling Milwaukee Public Schools per year to operators of public charter or private voucher schools with better records of success, according to details of a proposal by Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield).
Details of their “Opportunity Schools” plan include:
Continue reading Details Emerge on GOP MPS Turnaround Plan