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Wisconsin’s ESSER III Plan receives final approval from U.S. Education Department

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received confirmation this morning that the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has granted final approval of Wisconsin’s ESSER III plan. ESSER III refers to federal COVID relief funding that was allocated to K-12 education under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), passed by Congress in March 2021.  States were required by the APRA to submit plans for how they would spend this funding and get those plans approved by the USED.

Much of the state’s plan was approved by the USED in December 2021; however, the USED deemed a portion of the plan not to comply with provisions in the ARPA requiring funds to be used to address both the academic impact of lost instructional time during the pandemic and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on certain subgroups of students. The state submitted a revised plan in early February addressing the USED’s objections and that plan was finally approved this week. (more…)

Wis. Supreme Court adopts GOP-drawn legislative maps

In what is likely to be the final court chapter in the current legislative redistricting saga, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has sided with the state’s GOP Legislature over the state’s Democratic governor on the question of what legislative boundaries will be in place for this fall’s election.

In a 4-3 decision handed down on Friday (April 15), Wisconsin’s high Court adopted legislative maps submitted by the Republican-led state Legislature that it had earlier rejected in favor of maps submitted by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. (more…)

U.S. Education Secretary calls for using ARPA funds to address teacher supply

In a speech last week, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona called on education stakeholders to make use of funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to address persistent and widespread teacher shortages.

Cardona urged states, postsecondary leaders, districts, and schools to consider establishing evidence-based teacher residency programs, creating registered apprenticeship programs for the teaching profession, and increasing teacher compensation along with a slew of other proposals. (more…)

U.S. Supreme Court reverses decision setting Wisconsin legislative district lines, sends case back to Wis. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court today (3/23) summarily reversed the decision of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court handed down earlier this month which adopted legislative redistricting maps submitted by Governor Evers. In a somewhat technical decision, the U.S. high court sided with arguments raised by state Republicans and remanded the case back to the Wisconsin Supreme Court for further proceedings not inconsistent with its order. 

This means legislative district boundaries for districts on the November 2022 ballot remain unsettled at this time, even though state statutes provide that nomination papers for those offices may be circulated as soon as April 15.  However, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s adoption of Congressional maps submitted by Governor Evers, so district lines for those races appear to be set, barring any further developments. (more…)

U.S. Dept. of Education releases new CTE factsheet to help guide ESSER III decisions

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) recently released a new factsheet highlighting how states and local school districts can make use of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding to support high-quality career and technical education (CTE) programs.

In particular, the factsheet emphasizes CTE as a powerful way to reengage students to cultivate high-demand skills needed for jobs of the future.

This new guidance resource highlights several states’ efforts to use these resources to develop, expand, or otherwise implement CTE activities as part of their recovery efforts. The factsheet can be accessed here.

March 25 Webinar to highlight ESSER III Summer & Afterschool Program opportunities for district/community-based organization partnerships

On March 25, the Wisconsin Afterschool Network (WAN) will partner with the DPI to provide a 90-minute webinar focused on how the ESSER III 20% set-aside for activities to address learning loss due to COVID-19 can be met by the inclusion of comprehensive summer and after-school programs that implement evidenced-based intervention strategies via partnerships between districts and community-based organizations (CBO’s).

This webinar will also provide participants an opportunity to learn more about the ESSER III $5M dollar after-school competitive grant program to support additional school district and CBO and out-of-school time program partnerships. 

March 25, 2022ESSER III Grant Information and Opportunities.   
(11:00-12:30 pm via WebEx)
Click here to register for the webinar. 

Funding to support this webinar is provided by the Wisconsin Department of Administration