Category Archives: State Issue

Assembly education committee to hold info hearing on “School Funding as Related to the Counting of Students”

The state Assembly Committee on Education, chaired by Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) will hold an informational hearing on Tuesday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 412 East of the State Capitol. The committee will receive invited testimony only from the Department of Public Instruction and Legislative Fiscal Bureau on the topic of “School Funding as Related to the Counting of Students”.

One of the WASB’s top budget priorities is to secure provisions that mitigate the effects of the drop in student membership counts (which affect both revenue limit calculations and per pupil aid allocations) caused by the pandemic. This was also one of the most-mentioned elements brought forward by school leaders who testified at budget hearings. Continue reading Assembly education committee to hold info hearing on “School Funding as Related to the Counting of Students”

DPI/DHS Webinar today (at 1:00 p.m.) on getting schools certified to conduct COVID-19 testing

As we reported in an earlier blog post, Wisconsin is receiving $175 million in federal funding to implement testing programs in schools.

The first phase of this testing program will include options for schools to begin conducting tests in Spring and Summer 2021. Future phases will expand testing options and supports available to schools in Fall  2021 and  during the 2021-22 school year. 

To provide school leaders with information about getting schools certified to become part of these new COVID-19  testing opportunities, the DPI and the state Department of Health Services will be conducting a webinar today (Friday, April 23) from 1:00-2:00 p.m. 

Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link and call-in information. You can register here.

Continue reading DPI/DHS Webinar today (at 1:00 p.m.) on getting schools certified to conduct COVID-19 testing

Governor announces $175 million to support COVID-19 testing in schools

From a DHS press release: Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) today announced the state has received more than $175 million in federal funding to develop a program to support school-based COVID-19 testing for teachers, staff, and students. The program will be part of a comprehensive COVID-19 mitigation approach to assist schools in operating safely.

“We know this pandemic has been tough on students, educators, and staff and administration alike,” said Governor Evers. “Expanding access to testing is one tool we can use to help decrease disruption in classrooms across the state.” Continue reading Governor announces $175 million to support COVID-19 testing in schools

Assembly education committee to hold public hearing on Thursday (4/22)

The state Assembly Committee on Education, chaired by Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) will hold a public hearing on Thursday, April 22 at 10:00 am in Room 412 East of the State Capitol. The committee will receive public testimony on the following bills:

Assembly Bill 160 (Rep. Rodriguez) Relating to: payments to parents for transportation to a private school during the 2020-21 school year for pupils who reside in a first class city school district (MPS). Continue reading Assembly education committee to hold public hearing on Thursday (4/22)

Senate education committee to hold hearing on bill returning local control to school start date

The state Senate Committee on Education, chaired by Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, April 21 at 10:00 am in Room 411 South of the State Capitol. The committee will receive public testimony on the following bills:

Senate Bill 182 (Sen. Darling) Relating to: allowing local school boards to determine the start of fall classes in public schools.

WASB Position: Support, Resolution 1.22

Continue reading Senate education committee to hold hearing on bill returning local control to school start date

Districts surveyed about interest in school-based COVID testing

Earlier this week, the DPI sent out an email to district administrators that included a link to a survey from the state Department of Health Services (DHS) which is seeking input as it works to develop a statewide program to support school-based COVID-19 testing for teachers, staff, and students.  

The survey assesses district’s interest in various types of COVID testing programs.  The response will inform the development of a statewide program best suited to the needs of schools in Wisconsin. Continue reading Districts surveyed about interest in school-based COVID testing

Referendum passage rate dips, most noticeably for borrowing questions

The statewide passage rate for school referenda on last Tuesday’s ballot dipped in comparison with recent elections, with the biggest dip coming in the rate of passage for ballot questions seeking approval of school borrowing (debt issuance). 

Of the 70 total school referendums on the April 6 ballot, 42 were passed for an overall passage rate of 60 percent.

Continue reading Referendum passage rate dips, most noticeably for borrowing questions

DPI: Public comment period open for draft dyslexia & related conditions guidebook

From DPI: “The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today announced it is seeking public comment on a draft of an informational guidebook on dyslexia and related conditions. To view the draft guidebook and online comment form, visit the DPI’s website at https://dpi.wi.gov/reading/dyslexiaguidebook.

“For more information, and for a full news release, visit https://dpi.wi.gov/news/releases/2021/dyslexia-guidebook-public-comment-wisconsin.” Continue reading DPI: Public comment period open for draft dyslexia & related conditions guidebook

First budget hearing is Friday at UW-Whitewater

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will hold the first of its four scheduled public hearings on the state budget on Friday, April 9, at UW-Whitewater. It is very important for K-12 to have a strong presence at these hearings.

Lawmakers are not sold on the governor’s plan for increased school funding and school leaders cannot afford to be complacent. Their skepticism was highlighted by the line of questioning at the DPI agency briefing before the JFC this week and may be exacerbated by Jill Underly’s election win, as she was not the favored candidate of GOP legislative leaders (see: Speaker Vos’ tweet).

Hearing Details Continue reading First budget hearing is Friday at UW-Whitewater

Jill Underly wins race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction; GOP holds legislative seats

Jill Underly, District Administrator from the Pecatonica Area School District, will be the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction after garnering nearly 58% of the vote. Underly defeated Deb Kerr, former District Administrator from the Brown Deer School District.

In special elections for vacant state legislative seats, state Rep. John Jagler (R-Watertown) won the 13th Senate District seat vacated by Congressman Scott Fitzgerald and GOP candidate Elijah Behnke won the 89th Assembly District seat resigned by former Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette).