WisconsinEye recently sat down with key state legislative leaders on K-12 education to discuss a variety of issues as we begin the new school year. State Senators Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) & Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and State Reps. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) & Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb) sat down with Steve Walters to discuss a variety of topics including the state budget, school funding challenges, school vouchers, charter schools and more.
Access the full video here.
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
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
Activity in the State Capitol around the issue of improving school safety intensified this week. The WASB has been meeting with the governor’s office as well as legislative leadership offices regarding how to best address the issue.
Based on our member-approved resolutions and informed by an effort from 2013 in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the WASB has asked for resources to be provided with as much local flexibility as possible on how they can be used in recognition of the differences between the 422 school districts in Wisconsin. There must be the ability for school districts to utilize school safety-related resources in ways that make the most sense based on local circumstances (facilities, local law enforcement presence, etc.) and identified needs. Continue reading Legislative session to address school safety appears increasingly likely
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
Join school board members and administrators from around the state on March 15 to take our message to the Capitol! With the legislature beginning their review of Governor Walker’s budget proposal, it is an ideal time to talk with your local legislators about public school budget priorities.
With many interests competing for scarce budget dollars, school leaders need to make their voices heard. This time we have the advantage of the governor proposing a significant increase to schools in his budget and we need to make sure the legislature knows how important that investment is to our schools and the students they serve.
The 2017 Day at the Capitol makes it easy. The WASB will schedule meetings with legislators for you and provide talking points in advance to help you prepare. Register Today! Here is the day’s agenda: Continue reading March Advocacy Tip: Attend WASB Day at the Capitol
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has announced state Assembly committee membership for the 2017-18 legislative session. As we previously shared here, Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (pictured) is returning as chairman of the Assembly Education Committee. This is his second session as chair of the committee. Below are the other GOP Representatives (minority/Democrat committee membership has not yet been announced) on the committee 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 Members and the School Districts They Represent (Updated)