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Image WASB Logo celebrating 100 yearsThe 1990s

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Cold War slowly melted, changing global relationships. As the superpowers adjusted, United Nations forces attempted to intervene in global skirmishes. A U.S.-led coalition dubbed “Operation Desert Storm” invaded Iraq in 1991 to counter Saddam Hussein’s aggression into neighboring Kuwait.

After President George H.W. Bush alienated some voters by violating his “no new taxes” pledge, industrialist Ross Perot garnered 19% of the vote in 1992 and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton won the presidency. Clinton’s education reform initiatives included support for public school choice and public charter schools, increased Title I resources to improve low-performing schools and smaller class sizes.

The decade saw the launch of the Hubble telescope, Magic Johnson announce he was HIV positive, O.J. Simpson stand trial, Rodney King endure a brutal police beating, Dolly the sheep cloned, Beanie Babies become collectibles, Nirvana and Garth Brooks dominate the airwaves, and Tickle Me Elmo entertain toddlers.

  • 1991: The WASB begins offering superintendent search services; the board of directors approves the association’s first legislative agenda.
  • 1994: Legal inquiries from members for 1993-94 totals over 4,800 — a 24% increase over the prior year.
  • 1996: Delegates approve supporting modifications to the revenue-limit policy and use of a three-year enrollment average to calculate the limits.
  • 1997: Delegates approve a resolution supporting 66% state support for schools.
  • 1998: Delegates oppose extending revenue limits to other governmental units and efforts to impose national testing.
  • 1999: Staff explore technology innovations such as video-conferencing equipment, a seamless voicemail system, new telephone equipment and a single, connected data network linking its Madison and Winneconne offices.

WASB Presidents

1990 – Ray Rudzinski – Kimberly
1991 – Stan Peer – Grantsburg
1992 – Donna Purcell – Sauk Prairie
1993 – Marlene Hoffmann – Germantown
1994 – Marlene Hoffmann – Germantown
1995 – Jim Kohlenberg – Iowa-Grant
1996 – Nancy Thompson – Waterloo
1997 – Leota Simonson – Black River Falls
1998 – Nancy Donovan – Hudson
1999 – John Hawley – Random Lake

Our State
  • 1990: Wisconsin allows vouchers for non-sectarian, private schools in Milwaukee; the state enacts the nation’s first recycling law funded by a broad-based tax.
  • 1991: University of Wisconsin professor Henry Guckel invents the first working metal micrometer — its precision produces new medical tools and aviation controls.
  • 1993: Republicans take control of the state Senate for the first time since 1974; doctors at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee perform the first gene therapy application.
  • 1994: Revenue limits and the “Qualified Economic Offer” are added to school financing and contract law to curtail local property tax increases.
  • 1995: Republicans take control of state Assembly for the first time since 1970; Gov. Tommy Thompson strips much of the state superintendent’s authority and gives it to a gubernatorial appointee, a move struck down by the state Supreme Court.
  • 1996: Two-thirds state funding is added to the school financing mix to solidify property tax relief; Pabst Brewing ends 152 years of business in Milwaukee.
  • 1997: The Green Bay Packers, led by quarterback Brett Favre, win Super Bowl XXXI, defeating the New England Patriots.
  • 1999: Gov. Thompson begins an unprecedented fourth four-year term.
Our Nation
  • 1990: President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans With Disabilities Act; Nelson Mandela is released from a South African prison after 27 years.
  • 1991: After a contentious hearing, Clarence Thomas succeeds Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 1992: Television viewers say good-bye to “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson; John Gotti, head of the Gambino crime family, is sentenced to life in prison.
  • 1993: Janet Reno becomes the first female U.S. Attorney General.
  • 1994: “Run, Forrest, run” enters the vernacular; is founded; the World Series is canceled for the first time since 1904 due to a players’ strike.
  • 1995: A domestic terrorist’s bomb destroys the federal Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168, including 15 children in the building’s daycare.
  • 1996: Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters begin the Amber Alert System as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman from Arlington, Texas, who had been abducted and murdered.
  • 1997: Madeleine Albright becomes the first female U.S. secretary of state; Tiger Woods, 21, wins the U.S. Open by a record 12 strokes.
  • 1998: After playing a record 2,632 consecutive games, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. sits out a game.
  • 1999: Two armed students storm Columbine High School in Colorado, killing 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves. The horrific act forever changes school safety.
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