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Legislative Update


New resources available for Emergency Connectivity Fund applicants

The Federal Communications Commission has provided new resources for applicants seeking school technology funding help from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program.

The ECF program is a $7.17 billion federal program enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan Act in March of this year to help schools and libraries provide the technology tools and services their students and communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period.  The application period runs through August 13, 2021 read more…

Legislature takes no action in Special Session on K-12 funding

Legislature takes no action in Special Session on K-12 funding

Governor Tony Evers called the Legislature into Special Session on July 27 to take up his proposal, “to do what’s best for our kids and schools,” to boost funding for Wisconsin’s K-12 schools and higher education by $550 million. The Legislature convened and ended the special session with no discussion or consideration of the Governor’s proposal.

The WASB will continue to follow any developments on school funding and other forthcoming legislation that impacts Wisconsin schools.

CDC updates guidance again, now recommends universal masking in schools

alt = " "The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today (7/27) changed course on the question of indoor masking for the fully vaccinated. 

It now says all students, staff and teachers should wear masks in K-12 schools regardless of their vaccination status.

The new CDC guidance aligns with updated guidance issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on July 19. read more…

Legislature takes no action in Special Session on K-12 funding

GOP lawmakers target public schools with “transparency/culture war” legislation

A number of legislative proposals have been introduced that target public schools (including independent charter schools) with measures aimed at increasing transparency to parents and the community. It’s possible these bills could have public hearings in the near future and we wanted to make you aware of them. The WASB is concerned with the trend of these types of bills that indicate a lack of trust by lawmakers in locally-elected school board members and local control of K-12 education in general.

The following is a list of bills dealing with school referenda, budget transparency, anti-racism & anti-sexism instruction (critical race theory) and a mandate to post curricular and instructional materials online.  Along with a description of each bill is an excerpt from the bill’s co-sponsorship memo. These memos are written by the bill authors to explain the need for the legislation to their colleagues and request their support. read more…

Gov. Evers calls legislative Special Session intended to boost state education spending

Gov. Evers calls legislative Special Session intended to boost state education spending

In a video and through a press release, Gov. Tony Evers today announced that he will call the Legislature into special session tomorrow morning (Tuesday 7/27) to take up a proposal that Evers called “what’s best for our kids and our schools.”

In his Executive Order calling the Legislature into a special session, the governor urges lawmakers to take up a draft bill that would invest a combined $550 million in Wisconsin’s K-12 schools and students, and higher education. 

The proposal would provide:

read more…

DPI to host webinar on ESSER II & III hours of instruction data collection

Dan Bush and Roger Kordus from the DPI School Financial Services Team will present a webinar about ESSER II & III hours of instruction data collection on Monday, July 26 from 10-11 AM. The webinar will include about 35 minutes of information covering a summary of the data collection and examples of how to compile data, with an opportunity for about 25 minutes of Q&A.

read more…

GOP legislation proposes massive overhaul of reading readiness program including numerous strict mandates on school boards

GOP legislation proposes massive overhaul of reading readiness program including numerous strict mandates on school boards

Citing Wisconsin’s falling ranks in reading proficiency compared to other states, a number of state legislative Republicans have proposed a massive overhaul of the reading readiness program including a laundry list of stringent new state mandates relating to screening, assessments, interventions, parental notifications and reporting requirements.

The new mandates are very specific, even dictating what companies and products must be approved for use. The legislation is authored by Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) and Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay). See below for a comparison of current law and what is required by the bill.

read more…

CDC updates COVID-19 guidance for schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for COVID-19 prevention in schools today (7/9).

The updated guidance focuses on helping administrators in K-12 schools, along with state and local health officials, safely support in-person learning as well as sports and other extracurricular activities. The updates are based on the latest science and emphasize the COVID-19 prevention strategies most important for K-12 schools to support in-person learning. 

read more…

Legislature takes no action in Special Session on K-12 funding

Governor vetoes bill on WIAA transfer rules

Governor Evers vetoed Assembly Bill 383, the bill that would have prohibited a school district from being a member of an interscholastic athletic association (i.e., the WIAA) in the 2021-22 school year unless, for the 2021-22 school year, the association allows an exception to its transfer rules based on the manner in which educational programming was delivered during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.

The governor indicated he vetoed the bill because he objected to the Legislature inserting itself into the decision-making process of a private membership organization. WASB members have gone on record in support of WIAA autonomy by adopting a resolution that supports the governor’s position on this issue. read more…

Gov. Evers calls legislative Special Session intended to boost state education spending

Gov. Evers signs budget; announces additional $100 million in one-time federal funds for schools

Today, Governor Tony Evers signed the 2021-23 state budget with no major changes to the K-12 provisions as passed by the legislature, and also announced he would allocate an additional $100 million in one-time federal funding for schools from COVID relief funds under the governor’s discretion.

The governor said he was unwilling to risk the $2.3 billion in federal funds for schools with a full veto of the budget and also acknowledged that “Republicans and their allies” were careful with the language included in the bill and did not provide an avenue to increase school funding with a line-item veto as he did in the last budget. read more…

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New resources available for Emergency Connectivity Fund applicants wasb.org/new-resources-…

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