Many changes were made to the 2015-2017 state budget bill between the time Governor Walker introduced it in February and when he signed Act 55 into law on July 12. Unless you watched closely, it was difficult to keep track of what remained in the budget and what was removed.
Below are five items affecting schools that were for a brief time in the state budget, but were subsequently removed by the Legislature. None of the items listed below are in Act 55, although you may have seen references to them as the budget worked its way through the legislative process. Continue reading Whatever Happened to that Item in the Budget?…
The 2015-17 state budget bill approved by the state Senate last night included several provisions of note:
- Teacher and Administrator Contract Renewal Timeline Changes
Working with legislative leadership offices, the WASB was able to get these problematic changes to hiring decision timelines for school districts removed from the budget bill by action on the Senate floor yesterday.
- Local Government Property Insurance Fund (LGPIF)
The phase-out of the fund was removed while the much higher premiums adopted by the state Insurance Commissioner (effective July 1) to keep the fund solvent are retained.
- Prevailing Wage
As noted in a previous post, as a result of language adopted by the Senate, prevailing wage law requirements will no longer apply to school district construction/maintenance projects. (These provisions take effect on January 1, 2017, and apply to any request for bids issued on or after that date. If a project is not subject to bidding requirements, these provisions apply to a contract that is entered into on or after that date.)
Continue reading WASB Gets Key Provision Removed; Property Insurance Fund Restored in Senate Budget
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 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 WASB along with the School Administrators Alliance (SAA)* sent a joint letter to state legislative leaders to request that language in the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) K-12 education omnibus motion relating to changing the timelines for contract renewal/nonrenewal for teachers and administrators be removed.
This JFC language would modify the dates by which a school board must give a teacher or administrator written notice of renewal /nonrenewal of his or her contract in odd-numbered years in which the biennial state budget is adopted and would modify the date for administrators in all years. Continue reading WASB & School Administrators Alliance Send Joint Letter to Legislative Leaders on Contract Renewal Timelines
The following is a sample resolution for school boards on a provision in the omnibus K-12 proposal approved by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. The following can be used in the formal resolution format presented or in more personal letter format. Remember to provide copies of board resolutions to your legislators, the governor, local media, parent groups and the WASB. Click here for a PDF version. Continue reading Sample Board Resolution on Teacher & Administrator Contract Renewal Timeline Changes