The WASB GR Team does our best to try to minimize or eliminate legislative mandates on schools, especially unfunded mandates that require school boards to spend money and other resources. Often, the best way to guard against such mandates is to speak out before they become law.
Below is a sampling of currently proposed mandate measures that have come to our attention in the 2019-20 Legislative Session. (In assembling this list, we make no judgements as to the merits or value of the proposals but simply note that each of the proposals would impose legislative mandates on schools.) Continue reading Bills imposing legislative mandates on schools are cropping up
State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) are circulating a bill draft for other legislators to sign on and support (see cosponsorship memo) relating to contracts with parents to transport students to private and (sometimes) public schools. The bill would require the contract must compensate the parent or guardian a total amount for all pupils residing in the household who attend the same school, rather than a per pupil amount.
This change will potentially save districts money when multiple children in the same household are being transported to the same school in the same vehicle.
WASB supports this bill based on our member-approved resolutions and encourages you to contact your state legislators to cosponsor the “Marklein/Novak LRB 2448” before the Sept 10 deadline. Continue reading Contact your lawmakers to support parent transportation contract bill draft
In a State Capitol bill signing ceremony, Governor Scott Walker signed a raft of bills into law yesterday, including two education bills the WASB supported.
Assembly Bill 664, authored by Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) and Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), prohibits the Department of Health Services (DHS) from requiring a mental health clinic or a licensed treatment professional to designate a school site as a clinic office in order to provide outpatient mental health services at the school. It also requires DHS to provide Medical Assistance reimbursement to licensed treatment professionals for mental health services provided at a school, to the extent federal law allows such reimbursement, regardless of whether the school site is designated as a clinic office and regardless of whether the licensed treatment professional is employed by, a contractor of, or affiliated with a clinic. State Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc) also played a key role in developing this legislation. It is Act 294.
Assembly Bill 824, (pictured above) authored by Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) and Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst), adjusts sparsity aid eligibility to allow the Crivitz and Spring Valley school districts to continue to receive sparsity aid payments this year, without reducing sparsity aid payments to any other qualifying district. This new law also permanently raises the current 725 pupil cap on school district membership for sparsity aid eligibility to 745 pupils, beginning in the 2016-17 school year. This legislation was also co-authored by Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva) and Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma). It is Act 305.
The governor also signed at least five other bills that will or will likely have an impact on schools, including: Continue reading Governor Signs Two WASB-Backed Education Bills
The state Assembly sent the two-year $72.7 billion state budget to Gov. Scott Walker early Thursday, giving him just enough time to sign it before his presidential campaign announcement on Monday.
The budget passed 52-46, with 11 Republicans joining all Democrats in opposing the budget. The budget was not changed from what the state Senate passed 18-15 Tuesday.
The Assembly Republicans voting against the budget were Kathleen Bernier of Chippewa Falls, Ed Brooks of Reedsburg, James Edming of Glen Flora, David Heaton of Wausau, Scott Krug of Nekoosa, Lee Nerison of Westby, Todd Novak of Dodgeville, Warren Petryk of Eleva, Keith Ripp of Lodi, Travis Tranel of Cuba City and Nancy VanderMeer of Tomah.
Rep. Chris Danou (D-Trempealeau) was absent. Continue reading Assembly Passes Budget; Heads to Governor Walker