In a series of posts, we’ll take a closer look at several study committees that recently completed their work on topics related to K-12 education and public schools.
We’ll start with the Legislative Council Study Committee on the Identification and Management of Dyslexia, which met for the last time in mid-December and voted to recommend two draft bills for the Joint Legislative Council to introduce in the 2019-20 session.
Continue reading Legislative Council study committees wrap up work
The Legislative Council Study Committee on the Identification and Management of Dyslexia is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, October 23 to consider making several recommendations, including proposed legislation. The meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m., in Room 411 South, State Capitol, Madison.
One proposed bill would require the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), in consultation with an advisory committee created under the bill, to develop a guidebook related to reading difficulties and dyslexia for pupils, parents, teachers, and administrators.
Continue reading Dyslexia study committee set to make recommendations on Oct. 23
Teacher Training and Development Grants are for Schools Boards, or a governing body of a public, private or charter school that can demonstrate a critical need to train and license teachers. This is a new grant created in the 2017-19 biennial budget and is administered by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) as part of the Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program. Grant applications are due by Monday, July 16 at 3:00 p.m.
Click here for the application materials.
Grant Amount: From $5,000 to $50,000 is available per grantee. Continue reading Teacher training grants available; Apply by July 16
The 2017-19 State Budget made significant changes to teacher and administrator licensure in Wisconsin, including eliminating expiration dates for teaching and administrator licenses and restoring a system of life-time licenses.
In place of the existing licensure framework, the budget act requires the DPI to issue provisional three-year licenses for new educators, administrators, and pupil services professionals, with a lifetime license granted after the completion of six semesters of successful experience, as certified by the school boards where the person works. Continue reading Public Hearings Set on New Teacher and Administrator Licensing Rules
Gov. Scott Walker signed a group of bills on Friday, Dec. 8, including Senate Bill 253 authored by Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield) that will implement in state statutes provisions in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) intended to prohibit aiding and abetting sexual abuse of children/students by school personnel.
The bill would specify in state law that it is immoral conduct for a DPI licensee (e.g., a teacher, administrator or HR director, etc.) to assist a school employee, contractor, or agent to obtain a new job in a school or school district if the licensee knows or has reason to believe that the person committed a sex offense against a student or a minor. A violation could subject the licensee to potential loss or his or her DPI license. Continue reading Bill to Expand Immoral Conduct to Include Aiding & Abetting Sexual Abuse Signed Into Law
Governor Scott Walker signed six education-related bills into law today (Nov. 30) during a ceremony in the Governor’s office in the State Capitol. They included:
Senate Bill 382, relating to school employee tuberculosis (TB) screening;
Current law requires school districts to condition the employment of school personnel who come in contact with children or who handle or prepare food for children upon a physical examination by a licensed physician that includes a chest X-ray or a tuberculin test. The cost of such examinations, including X-rays and tuberculin tests, must be paid out of school district funds. Current law also permits a school district to require employees to undergo additional physical examinations at intervals determined by the school district. Continue reading Governor Signs Six Education Bills Into Law
The state budget signed into law today (Sept. 21) significantly invests in our public school students and districts, one of the best investments we can make as a state. The substantial increases in per-pupil aid and other categorical aids are welcome and vitally important to our public school districts that serve the vast majority of students in Wisconsin and are tasked with preparing all of them for college and/or careers.
I also applaud the mental health-related supports for students and school districts included in the state budget. These needs have been overlooked for too long.
I am disappointed that neither revenue limit relief for low-spending districts nor an increase/expansion of sparsity aid were included in the final budget. Both are targeted to school districts that have special challenges and this was a lost opportunity. I am also disappointed with the further expansions of private school vouchers and special needs vouchers which continue to take us down the path of funding dual education systems when we have not been able to maintain even inflationary increases for our constitutionally mandated public school system. In addition, several policy items were included in the budget (e.g. teacher and administrator licensure changes, scheduling of referendum restrictions and restrictions for energy savings projects) that will impact the efficient operations of school districts.
Ultimately, I understand that a budget comes down to making hard choices with available resources and there will be provisions that school board members statewide both support and oppose. On behalf of all 422 locally elected school boards in Wisconsin, I want to thank the governor and members of the Legislature for their public service and for the positive items included for public schools. I also look forward to continuing to work with both the governor and lawmakers for the remainder of this legislative session.
Read: WASB Summary of Key 2017-19 State Budget Provisions for Public Schools