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

Limited slots will be available for the statewide virtual budget hearing

Details on registering for the April 28 statewide virtual budget hearing held by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) have been released. The Committee is accepting ONLY the first 200 registrations for the hearing.

Registration opens on Monday, April 19, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at this website. If you want to secure a slot for this hearing, it is imperative to log on to that website right at 10am when registration opens as we expect demand to be high.

Registrations will be taken on a first come-first served basis and registrants must be a resident of Wisconsin.

Those with disabilities who will need to call in should contact Joe Malkasian, Committee Clerk, at Joe.Malkasian@legis.wisconsin.gov to make the necessary arrangements.

 

Finance committee holds first public hearing on the state budget

Thank you to the school board members who testified at the Joint Finance Committee budget hearing in Whitewater on Friday, April 9. The following school board members testified:

  • Kathleen Wied-Vincent, Greendale
  • Nicki Vander Meulen, Madison

The following administrators also testified:

  • Steve Salerno, Mount Horeb
  • Aaron Sadoff, North Fond du Lac
  • Phillip Tubbs, Weyauwega-Fremont
  • Patrick Rau, Peshtigo
  • John Gahan, Pewaukee
  • Tim Raymond, Cambria-Friesland

Please let me know if you were there and I missed you. Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to advocate for your students’ needs!

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

Joint education committee informational hearing today on federal fund usage

The Senate and Assembly Committees on Education will hold a joint informational hearing on Thursday, April 8 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 411 South, State Capitol. The committees are chaired by state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and are scheduled to take invited testimony only on “Federal Funding Distributed to Wisconsin related to K-12 Education.” The hearing will be covered live on WisconsinEye. The WASB GR staff will monitor the hearing and report anything worth noting to our members.

The committees have invited the following speakers for this hearing: Continue reading Joint education committee informational hearing today on federal fund usage

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).

President proposes infrastructure plan including broadband expansion and school projects

From the NSBA connection: Politico (3/29, Stratford) reports President Joe Biden is expected to unveil new details about his multi-trillion dollar infrastructure plan this week. Biden said during his press conference last week that schools would be a focus of his infrastructure push, noting the decline of the nation’s classrooms: “How many schools where the kids can’t drink the water out of the fountain? How many schools are still in the position where there’s asbestos? How many schools in America we’re sending our kids to don’t have adequate ventilation?” Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), chair of the House education committee, likewise “told state education leaders last week that he expects schools will be part of the infrastructure bill.” According to Politico, “increasing federal funding for school construction isn’t likely to be an area of agreement between Democrats and Republicans.” Continue reading President proposes infrastructure plan including broadband expansion and school projects

New Secret Service report on school shootings; Experts advise vigilance as schools reopen

From NSBA National Connection:

ABC News (3/30) reports a study released Tuesday by the Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center suggests “targeted violence against schools is preventable, if the warning signs are identified.” The report “studied 67 thwarted school violence plots and 100 plotters to come up with a framework to further prevent school attacks.” The agency determined there were “several consistent factors in attacks that were prevented and attacks that happened, such as a history of discipline or law enforcement interaction, if the plotter had experienced bullying or had underlying mental health issues, intended to commit suicide or had been impacted by childhood conditions.” The Secret Service also “found that 45% of the attacks planned, but not carried out, were based on a grievance with a classmate,” and that “15% of potential attackers wanted to kill.” Continue reading New Secret Service report on school shootings; Experts advise vigilance as schools reopen