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Redistricting 2024: state Senate districts

With new state legislative maps getting signed into law and the end of the 2023-24 legislative floor session, lawmakers across the state are turning their eyes to the coming election season. New maps bring many changes, including possible changes to longstanding relationships you might have built with your state Senators. The WASB wants to ensure that school leaders have the resources they need to stay up to date on the changes coming to the Wisconsin State Legislature, and how your advocacy efforts could be affected.

Below we look at the districts up for reelection in Nov. 2024 and track what legislators have made announcements about whether they intend to seek reelection, retire, move to run in a different district or for another office, etc. This Fall will see the election of half (even-numbered) of the 33 state Senate districts. Senate district maps for 2022 and 2024 can be found and compared HERE. (more…)

Governor vetoes several education-related bills including competitive bidding mandate

Gov. Evers issued vetoes on a large number of bills today (3/29). Included on that list were several pieces of legislation that the WASB was tracking (veto messages linked below):

SB 335/AB 342 Relating to: allowing school boards to employ a school district administrator who is not licensed by the department of public instruction.

SB 489/AB 510 Relating to: rights reserved to a parent or guardian of a child. 

SB 608/AB 640 Relating to: a license to teach based on working as a paraprofessional in a school district. 

SB 688/AB 723 Relating to: local government competitive bidding thresholds and requiring school districts to utilize competitive bidding. 

Governor signs bill allowing for continued funding of OSS through the next budget cycle

Today, Governor Tony Evers signed AB 1050 into law as 2023 Wisconsin Act 240. The bill will allow the Office of School Safety to use funds raised through concealed carry permit fees to continue funding their operations. This stopgap measure authored by Sen. Quinn and Rep. Novak, only allows for these measures to stay in effect through the next budget cycle. Both Quinn and Novak attempted to get OSS funding in the 2023-25 budget cycle but were unsuccessful in their attempts. Legislators will have to appropriate more money to the office in the next budget cycle, or OSS will risk closure or a significant reduction in services.
 
The WASB supports the services OSS provides to our members and thanks these lawmakers and Governor Evers for their continued efforts in bringing this bill across the finish line. Read below to see the governor’s press release.

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Governor Evers signs 11 education related bills into law, issues veto on another

Governor Evers signed 11 bills that would impact school districts into law this week. These bills range in topic from raising safety standards, broadening a tech-ed grant program, educator licensing, changes to certain aspects of Act 20 training and screener requirements, and numerous stocking medication bills. He also issued a veto on SB 549, which would have required schools to admit certain federally charted youth organizations once a year for recruiting purposes. Read below to view the actions taken by the governor this week. (more…)

OSS: Numerous grants, trainings, and resources are still available

The Office of School Safety has shared the following message and resources for school districts. Visit the OSS website for more information on the office and the resources and services it provides to school districts.

It’s Easier Than You Think to Apply for a Digital Mapping Grant!

The Wisconsin Legislature has replenished 2021 Wisconsin Act 109 digital mapping grant funds, with an additional $2.5 million added to this opportunity. With additional funding, OSS continues to seek applications from Wisconsin public, private, charter, and tribal schools interested in obtaining digital mapping data. The grant announcement is available here: School Safety Grants.

Intimidated by grants? Never completed a grant application before? No problem! OSS is hosting a webinar series to help. Join us to discuss the opportunity and ask questions—then complete an application with us! Please select the one of the following dates/links to register.
Tuesday April 2, 10 – 11:30 AM
Thursday April 18, 1 – 2:30 PM
Monday June 10, 2 – 3:30 PM

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OSS Grants Specialist, Jacob Dorff at schoolsafetygrants@doj.state.wi.us.


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Over 25 education related bills that are dead for this session

Last week, the Legislature adjourned for the session (barring extraordinary circumstances), with the Senate voting on the last bills for the year on March 12th. The following bills were passed by one chamber but not the other. While they didn’t make it across the finish line this session, they will likely be back next session or in the future. See below to view the education related bills that failed to reach the governor’s desk in 2023-24. (more…)