Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), the leaders of each house of the Wisconsin Legislature, today announced the formation of a Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding to be chaired by Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) (pictured at left from the Legislative Advocacy Conference). WASB Government Relations Director Dan Rossmiller has been appointed to the commission.
The press release announcing the formation of the commission indicates, “The commission will hold its first meeting this month. Beginning next year, the commission will travel around the state conducting public hearings to learn more about school funding issues in Wisconsin. Recommendations will be given to legislative leaders before the end of the session.” Continue reading Legislative Leaders Announce Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding
In a State Capitol bill signing ceremony, Governor Scott Walker signed a raft of bills into law yesterday, including two education bills the WASB supported.
Assembly Bill 664, authored by Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) and Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), prohibits the Department of Health Services (DHS) from requiring a mental health clinic or a licensed treatment professional to designate a school site as a clinic office in order to provide outpatient mental health services at the school. It also requires DHS to provide Medical Assistance reimbursement to licensed treatment professionals for mental health services provided at a school, to the extent federal law allows such reimbursement, regardless of whether the school site is designated as a clinic office and regardless of whether the licensed treatment professional is employed by, a contractor of, or affiliated with a clinic. State Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc) also played a key role in developing this legislation. It is Act 294.
Assembly Bill 824, (pictured above) authored by Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) and Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst), adjusts sparsity aid eligibility to allow the Crivitz and Spring Valley school districts to continue to receive sparsity aid payments this year, without reducing sparsity aid payments to any other qualifying district. This new law also permanently raises the current 725 pupil cap on school district membership for sparsity aid eligibility to 745 pupils, beginning in the 2016-17 school year. This legislation was also co-authored by Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva) and Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma). It is Act 305.
The governor also signed at least five other bills that will or will likely have an impact on schools, including: Continue reading Governor Signs Two WASB-Backed Education Bills