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
Ten school referenda will be on the ballot Tuesday in various school districts across the state. It will mark the last time school boards will be able to place ballot questions before voters on a date that doesn’t coincide with a regularly scheduled election under new restrictions enacted as part of the 2017-19 state budget.
Effective January 1, 2018, school district referenda to exceed revenue limits and to issue bonds will be limited to being held only on regularly-scheduled election days (i.e., the February spring primary or April spring general election, or the August (fall) partisan primary or November general election). Districts will be further restricted to calling referenda on just two dates per calendar year.
Continue reading Voters to Decide Ten School Referenda on Tuesday
Updated: The state Senate voted 19-14 to pass the state budget and send it to Gov. Walker after he agreed to certain vetoes to gain the support of Senate GOP holdouts Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) and Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville).
Read More: Scott Walker strikes deal with Republican holdouts as Wisconsin Senate passes budget (Cap Times)
Continue reading Senate Approves State Budget Bill With Gov. Walker Veto Deal
The state Assembly passed the state budget bill late last night on a vote of 57-39 with all Democrats and five Republicans (Reps. Scott Allen of Waukesha, Janel Brandtjen of Menomonee Falls, Bob Gannon of West Bend, Adam Jarchow of Balsam Lake and Joe Sanfelippo of New Berlin) voting NO on the bill.
The bill now goes to the state Senate where a Friday vote is planned even though they are currently short of the 17 needed votes to pass it. Continue reading Assembly Passes State Budget Bill; Senate Support Uncertain
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has announced state Senate committee membership for the 2017-18 legislative session. As expected, former Berlin school board member state Senator Luther Olsen (pictured) is returning as chairman of the Senate Education Committee. He has chaired the committee every session the GOP has controlled the Senate since being elected in 2004. He was also chair of the Assembly Education Committee from 1997-2003. Below are the other GOP Senators (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 Senate Education Committee Members and the School Districts They Represent (Updated)
The author of Assembly Bill 469, state Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum), has made public an amendment to his proposal that would require public school boards to designate school restrooms and changing rooms (i.e., locker or shower rooms) accessible by multiple students as for the exclusive use of either “males” or “females.”
Assembly Substitute Amendment 1 would allow schools to open a gender-neutral multi-use bathroom, provided it has stalls with floor-to-ceiling partitions or walls.
This change comes in response to questions raised by certain legislators at the public hearing on the bill. The WASB still opposes the bill as amended because the amendment does not address any of the concerns we have raised.
Read More: Molly Beck’s story in the Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel clarified that the state Department of Justice (DOJ) would not defend school districts sued for implementing a transgender bathroom policy proposed by state Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) & state Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) (from WKOW – Madison):
At a public hearing on Assembly Bill 469 Thursday, several Democrats and school district administrators expressed doubts that DOJ would defend a district in that situation. But AB 469 author Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) testified that DOJ may step in and defend districts if asked on such cases.
“I heard that and I cringed a little bit,” said Schimel. “The Department of Justice doesn’t represent individual school districts. They have their own counsel for that. We would represent the superintendent of public instruction (DPI) at the state level, if there was some challenge brought to them, but not local school districts.”
See WASB’s testimony on AB 469