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Legislative Update

John Ashley statement on DPI budget request

WASB Applauds Proposal to Invest in Education

“We commend the state superintendent for calling for the investment of state funds into our local public schools, and specifically into special education, student mental health and providing flexible, spendable dollars that can be directed at the local level by school boards.

“These resources are vital to the mission of public school districts to serve all students and ensure they are college and career ready. read more…

DPI submits $2.5 billion state budget request for schools

State Superintendent Jill Underly has submitted the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) 2023-25 state budget request for funding public schools and libraries. This is the official beginning of the state budget process for public schools as this request sets the marker that the next governor will work from in proposing his budget early next year. This comes on the heels of Gov. Evers and State Supt. Underly releasing initial priorities last week.

From the DPI Press Release:

“The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today requested $2.5 billion in its 2023-25 biennial budget submission to the Wisconsin Department of Administration. The biennial budget request includes, but is not limited to, funding for the following: read more…

Governor, State Supt. release K-12 state budget priorities

Today, Governor Tony Evers and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly released a K-12 education state budget plan that focuses on “improving reading and literacy outcomes, expanding access to student mental health services and school nutrition, providing financial literacy and out-of-school programming, addressing the staffing shortages to help keep class sizes small, and increasing per pupil and special education aids while holding line on property taxes”.

The plan provides an increase of nearly $2 billion for public schools at a time when stronger than expected tax collections have created a projected $5 billion state surplus. According to the release, that will allow for an increased investment in K-12 education without raising property taxes. read more…

Governor announces release of $90 Million in federal funds for school districts

As public schools prepare to begin the upcoming school year facing significant staffing challenges and increased student mental health needs, Gov. Evers today announced the release of $90 million in federal funds for Wisconsin school districts.

Of those funds, $75 million will be distributed on a per-pupil basis, meaning every Wisconsin school district will receive an additional $91.15 in per pupil aid (per district figures). According to the governor’s press release, the funding “includes flexibilities for districts and an extended timeline allowing the funds to be used over several school years, can be used to retain and recruit talented educators and staff, address rising costs for supplies and services due to national inflation, defraying the cost of school bussing, and provide direct support for kids in the classroom”. 

The remaining $15 million will go toward the “Get Kids Ahead” initiative to provide mental health services in K-12 schools. The allocated amount of funding per school district through the first and second rounds of the Get Kids Ahead initiative is available here.

It is important to note that these are one-time funds. You can view the governor’s full press release here.

September 12 is deadline to submit comments on proposed changes to federal Title IX regulations

The U.S. Department of Education’s Proposed Rule to modify/amend the federal Title IX regulations is currently subject to a public comment opportunity for school districts and other interested parties to submit feedback to influence the final version of the regulations. The deadline for submitting comments on the Proposed Rule is September 12, 2022.

The WASB has prepared a general summary of the amendments found in the Proposed Rule, with brief commentary, that is intended to help Title IX Coordinators and other school district leaders understand the scope of the Proposed Rule and determine whether their school district wishes to submit any comments for purposes of their local advocacy. The WASB has attempted to identify the proposals that are likely to be of greatest interest to most school districts, however, the overview highlights only some of changes that are included in the Proposed Rule. read more…

State tax collections continue to exceed projections

The new memo from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) shows tax collections are above the agency’s January estimates by $1.6 billion. This continues a trend of an exceptionally healthy state financial picture that will allow the state to invest in K-12 education and other priorities in the 2023-25 state budget if policymakers decide to do so. From the memo: read more…

Special study committee to meet Monday, focus will be on school district consolidation

The Legislative Council Special Study Committee on Shared School Services will hold its second meeting Monday, August 22, at 10:00 a.m. in the State Capitol, with a focus on School District Consolidation.  As such, this meeting should be of special interest to school leaders.
You can watch the special study committee meeting on WisconsinEye.

Monday’s meeting will feature presentations on school district models in other states by three representatives from the Education Commission of the States as well as by a former Florida school superintendent from the Tampa area.  (Florida uses a county-wide school district model.)  The study committee will also hear from a panel of Wisconsin school district administrators whose districts have either contemplated or implemented a consolidation.  

read more…

MU Law Poll: Public support up for increased school funding as state budget process nears

The newest Marquette Law School Poll was released by Prof. Charles Franklin on Aug. 17 and featured an array of questions on various topics including approval numbers for various federal and state elected officials and candidates.

On the K-12 front, questions were asked about school funding support and taxpayer-subsidized private school voucher expansion. read more…

August 9 primary recap; looking ahead to Nov. 8 general election

Results of the August 9 primary election are in. Voters approved each of the three school referendums that were on the August 9 ballot. 

In the Independence School District, voters approved a non-recurring referendum to exceed the revenue limit by $900,000 for the each of the next three school years. In the Monticello School District, voters approved exceeding the revenue limit on a recurring basis by $820,000 in the 2022-23 school year and also approved a separate non-recurring referendum question to allow the district to exceed the revenue limits by $280,000 in each of the next four school years. read more…

Tuesday is primary election day

Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 9, is the date of the partisan primary election in Wisconsin. Voters will choose the party nominees for the Nov. 8 general election for a variety of statewide offices, including U.S. Senator, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer and secretary of state. 

In addition, nominees will be chosen for other partisan races, including all Assembly seats and 17 of the 33 seats in the Wisconsin State Senate—the odd-numbered districts. This will be the first primary election to take place after redistricting following the 2020 United States census. read more…

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WI School Boards

This Friday, Oct. 7, is the deadline to register for the 2022 National Forum to Advance Rural Education, held in Green Bay. WASB Director of Member Services @BenNiehausb and consultants will lead a session called "Governing for Excellence in Rural Schools."…

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