Senate Bill 364, authored by Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green, pictured) and Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield) and a bipartisan cadre of fellow lawmakers, has been introduced in the legislature. This bill changes the age for purchasing cigarettes, tobacco products, or nicotine products from 18 to 21, and imposes a minimum age for purchasing vapor products.
The WASB supports this bill based on our member-approved resolutions and has provided a sample resolution for boards to use to express their support for the bill on our Boards Taking Action webpage. There you can find resolutions passed by other school boards on various issues as well as WASB sample resolutions that boards can use for the basis of their own resolutions. Click on the gray box labeled “Sample Letters and Resolutions” and look for the “Sample Board Resolution in Support of Tobacco 21 Legislation in Wisconsin”
From the lawmakers’ cosponsorship memo: Continue reading Bill introduced to raise legal age for tobacco/nicotine/vaping products
From the Department of Public Instruction:
“The Department of Public Instruction distributed $6.5 million for services to support students’ mental health in 120 public school districts and one independent charter school. The funding comes from the School-Based Mental Health Services Grants Program. Continue reading Additional school mental health grants awarded
State Superintendent Tony Evers sent a letter to Attorney General Brad Schimel as well as the co-chairs of the state’s budget committee, Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren, urging that some of the remaining school safety grant funds be used on the following mental health programs noting that there has been strong demand for the programs from school districts:
Collaborative Community/School Mental Health Grants. These grants support school and community health providers in expanding mental health services to students.
Continue reading State Supt. Evers asks Attorney General Schimel to use remaining school safety grant monies for mental health
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Annysa Johnson:
“Gov. Scott Walker has proposed cutting the office’s now-vacant coordinator position and 15-member advisory council as part of his 2017-’19 budget, a move that would save $132,800 over the biennium.
“Walker’s spokesman, Tom Evenson, said the agency would continue to seek and disburse federal grants targeting farm-to-school efforts, and that another program manager will help out in the office. AmeriCorps workers also will continue to work on farm-to-school initiatives in some low-income schools, he said. Continue reading Governor’s Budget Eliminates Farm to School Position/Council
Governor Scott Walker signed three Executive Orders related to the Opioid Abuse Task Force co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Representative John Nygren (pictured) which also released its recommendations for fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic plaguing Wisconsin and the nation.
One of the Executive Orders requests a special session of the Wisconsin State Legislature beginning on January 5, 2017, to consider and act upon several pieces of legislation including a measure brought to the task force by the WASB, relating to opioid antidote (e.g., Narcan) administration in schools.
Continue reading Opioid Abuse Task Force Releases Recommendations; Including WASB-Initiated Measure
State Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) will likely introduce legislation next year when the new legislative session begins mandating all public and private schools randomly drug test students who wish to participate in extra-curricular activities or park vehicles in the school parking lot. Continue reading State Lawmaker to Propose Random Drug Testing Mandate for Schools
Student mental health will be among the biggest education-related issues heading into the next legislative session and state budget. According to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), 20 percent of children experience a significant mental health issue and less than a third of those will receive the services they need.
A group of USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporters has compiled a list of 10 potential legislative actions to address mental health issues, including teen suicide and bullying, that are based on a year of reporting in a series titled Kids in Crisis. They may also give an idea on what proposals we could see from legislators next year as evidenced by the reactions from several state lawmakers, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), to their recommendations. Continue reading School-Based Mental Health Initiatives on the Horizon