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Legislative Update

LFB: Tax collections exceeding projections; State general fund update

Advocacy & Government Relations ImageThe Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released updated tax collection numbers and a report on the status of the state’s general fund heading into the 2025-27 state budget debate. The fund still contains a healthy balance primarily because the governor and legislature have not been able to come to an agreement on how to spend it.

From State tax collections through the month of April are up 0.9% over the year before, slightly ahead of the 0.4% growth that the Legislative Fiscal Bureau had projected for 2023-24. read more…

DPI releases end of legislative session memo with key takeaways for school districts

The 2023-24 Legislative Session officially wrapped up last week with the Senate voting to override several of the governor’s vetoes. The legislature will now stand adjourned until the next legislature is inaugurated in January 2025 (unless the governor calls a special/emergency session). In the wake of this action, the department issued a memo which provides summaries of enacted K-12 education related legislation along with links to additional resources. Read more on the DPI’s website.

Senate votes to override several vetoes including one teacher pipeline bill

The state Senate met today to vote on overriding many of the vetoes that Governor Evers issued this session. This included SB 917, a bill that WASB has been tracking, which raises standards for student teaching in teacher prep programs, and requires the establishment of a DPI teacher apprenticeship program. In his veto message, Evers claimed the bill was unnecessary, citing an ongoing pilot program between DWD and DPI, and that it would create uncertainty for candidates in currently operating teacher preparatory programs.

Republicans currently hold a supermajority in the Senate, and furthermore one Democrat left the chamber earlier this session to hold a position as a Circuit Court Judge. The Republicans, however, are two votes short of a supermajority in the state Assembly. This means to override a veto they would need either two Assembly Democrats to vote with all Republicans (or be absent) to successfully complete these overrides. There is currently no Assembly session scheduled, and it remains unclear if/when they will take this action up. Read below for more information on SB 917: read more…

DPI: despite ongoing lawsuits, new Act 20 requirements still come into effect next school year

We previously shared that the Republican-led legislature filed a lawsuit against both DPI and Governor Evers for the use of his partial veto on 2023 Wisconsin Act 100, the law that creates a funding structure for new early literacy initiatives created by 2023 Wisconsin Act 20. In light of this suit, DPI has released the following message to school districts, who may have questions about how the suit will affect them.

From DPI: “As summer approaches, work continues on supporting and implementing changes to reading instruction outlined in Act 20, Wisconsin’s reading legislation. A lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin State Legislature last month related to appropriations does not impact requirements in Act 20 and progress toward implementing the law for the 2024-25 school year.

“The DPI continues moving forward to support local education agencies in delivering high-quality reading instruction for all Wisconsin students. The department is on track to sign a contract with a vendor for the reading readiness assessment in July, so expect details about that closer to the beginning of the 2024-25 school year. read more…

Act 20 funding in question following lawsuit

Earlier this month, the Republican-led legislature filed a lawsuit against both DPI and Governor Evers for the use of his partial veto on 2023 Wisconsin Act 100, the law that creates a funding structure for new early literacy initiatives created by 2023 Wisconsin Act 20. At issue is whether the bill (SB 971) was an appropriations bill, and therefore able to be partial vetoed, or if the bill simply authorizes the Joint Finance Committee to release funds as the legislature claims. This lawsuit has begun to raise major questions as to the impact on Act 20’s implementation timeline (see our previous post for more information on the suit).

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UW-Madison announces extension of Wisconsin Teacher Pledge program

The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced today that they will be extending the Wisconsin Teacher Pledge program through the 2028-29 school year, thanks to a new $8 million in private funding. The program (launched in 2020) covers the cost of in-state tuition, testing, and licensing costs for students who attend a UW-Madison teacher preparatory program and pledge to teach in a Wisconsin school for at least 4 years (or three years in a high need district/high need specialty). Prior to the announcement, private funding would have only sustained the program through the 2026-27 school year.

From the UW-Madison School of Education: “As of spring 2024, 773 students have taken the Teacher Pledge. Of those, 354 are already teaching in 88 public school districts and 14 private schools across Wisconsin. This work is vital at a time when a nationwide teacher shortage continues to generate headlines and frustrate policymakers in search of solutions. A new report released in April by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction found Wisconsin educators continue to leave the state’s workforce “at an alarming rate” and that the retention of teachers is a “significant issue that needs to be addressed.”

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. We have one remaining webinar scheduled for the 2023-2024 school year: Monday June 10, 2 – 3:30 PM. Click here to register.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OSS Grants Specialist, Jacob Dorff at

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