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DPI: Debt ceiling legislation will not impact COVID relief funds allocated to schools

From the Dept. of Public Instruction:

“Education partners, DPI is pleased to share the attached information (see below) sent by the US Department of Education confirming that the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, which suspended the Federal debt ceiling, does not impact formula-driven COVID-19 relief funds awarded under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) program, the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) program, the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) program, or the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief – Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) program. LEAs should continue to spend and claim these funds according to their DPI approved budgets and plans by their federal deadlines (September 30, 2023 and September 30, 2024).” (more…)

Bill allowing school board members to be volunteer bus drivers up for public hearing Tuesday

The Assembly Committee on Local Government will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 6 on a number of bills including one (Assembly Bill 233) that would allow school board members to serve as voluntary school bus drivers provided certain conditions are met (see below). The bill is an effort to provide more potential school bus drivers in an environment where many schools are facing driver shortages. The Senate companion bill (note: companion bills are identical versions introduced in the other house so they can make their way through the legislative process more quickly) was recommended for approval by the Senate education committee on a unanimous, bipartisan vote.
The WASB supports this bill.


Senate committee sets hearing on financial literacy, opioid antagonist mandates

The Senate Committee on Education will take public comments at a hearing at 10 am on Tuesday, May 23 in room 330 SW (State Capitol) on the following legislation:

Senate Bill 115–Requiring one-half credit of personal financial literacy for high school graduation.

Under current law, a school board may grant a high school diploma to a pupil only if the pupil meets specific statutory requirements, including earning a certain number of credits in various subjects in the high school grades. (more…)

Assembly committee sets hearing on bills relating to teacher licensure, new instructional mandate and advisory committee membership

The Assembly Committee on Education will hold a public hearing on three bills after voting to recommend two bills from a previous hearing. The committee will meet at 9:30 am on Thursday, May 25 in room 417 North (State Capitol).

Reminder: an executive session is a vote of the committee on whether to recommend the legislation for passage by the full Assembly. It usually includes a discussion among committee members but no public comment is taken. A public hearing includes public comment on the proposals. (more…)

New LFB projections: tax collections to grow slightly less than previous estimates

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) today projected state tax collections over the next two years would come in $755.1 million lower than what the agency expected just four months ago. Even with that dip, Wisconsin’s budget forecast still shows the state collecting about $6.9 billion more than anticipated by the end of this June.

From the Associated Press: “The projection from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates that taxes collected over the next two years will be down about $755 million, or about 1% less than the previous forecast made four months ago. Taking into account other short-term cost savings, the surplus shrank from $7.1 billion to nearly $6.9 billion. (more…)

School-related mandates included in Assembly GOP shared revenue package

School-related unfunded mandates have been reported to be provisions included in a package being developed by legislative Republicans to fund shared revenue to local governments. According to, the plan includes a mandate requiring all schools statewide to collect and maintain statistics on crimes that happen on school property during the week, similar to a proposal (2023 Assembly Bill 53) that has failed to pass as stand-alone legislation for several legislative sessions. Also included is a mandate requiring the Milwaukee Public School District Board to have school resource officers present at schools during normal hours, as well as other activities as needed. This is similar to legislation introduced earlier this session (Assembly Bill 69). The WASB opposed the former bill on local control grounds and provided comments suggesting changes to the latter bill. (more…)