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Legislative Update

The Wheeler Report publishes series on public education during COVID-19

The Wheeler Report publishes series on public education during COVID-19

The WASB and other K-12 groups have been working with The Wheeler Report on a series looking at the issues impacting K-12 education in Wisconsin from when schools were closed statewide in response to the health emergency to what lies ahead this fall. The highly respected Wheeler Report covers the Wisconsin Legislature and state politics and is closely followed by legislators and their staff.

The first two parts of the series have been posted on The Wheeler Report blog and are linked below:



We will link to future posts from this series here on the Legislative Update blog.

Newly updated WASB resolutions book now online

The Resolutions Adopted by Delegate Assemblies book, containing the collected policy positions adopted by Delegate Assemblies throughout the years, has been updated to reflect resolutions adopted in January 2020.

Resolutions adopted by the annual WASB Delegate Assemblies set the policy direction for the WASB and its lobbying efforts. Once adopted, these resolutions remain in force unless amended or repealed.The resolution process is member-driven.  Each member board has an opportunity to put its imprint on the WASB. The process begins when member boards submit resolutions proposing new language or changing existing resolution language.  Those board resolutions must be submitted by Sept. 15. read more…

Legislative Council study process tries to adapt to COVID-19

Typically, during the summer of even-numbered years (the “interim period”) when the Legislature is not meeting regularly, the Joint Legislative Council establishes a number of special study committees to study topics of legislative interest.

These special study committees explore issues in greater detail than is typically possible while the Legislature is meeting regularly.

This year, given the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presents to its traditional model, the Legislative Council proposes to establish just one study committee that will meet likely virtually for as long as is advisable. read more…

WIAA issues guidance on summer activities

WIAA issues guidance on summer activities

From the WIAA release:

“The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has released guidance and recommendations for member high schools to resume summertime athletics programming and other activities beginning July 1, 2020.

“The guidelines were produced and reviewed by the collaborative efforts and contributions of the doctors on the WIAA Sports Medical Advisory Committee, the WIAA Executive Staff, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Department of Public Instruction, the office of Governor Evers. The recommendations are best practices when returning to summertime sports activities in accordance with state, local and tribal restrictions and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Federation of State High School Associations. read more…

DPI issues non-binding return to school guidance

DPI issues non-binding return to school guidance

The DPI has issued a guidance document (that we previously posted was coming) on returning to in-person instruction.  The guidelines, branded Education Forward, are not requirements that school boards must follow, but are a resource of information to help inform your decision-making.

From the DPI release: “The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today issued Education Forward, a guidance document for Wisconsin district and school leaders to use as they plan for a safe, efficient, and equitable return to school for the 2020-21 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. read more…

State to provide cloth face masks and thermometers to schools

According to a June 15 email from the DPI to district administrators, the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and DPI are partnering to distribute cloth masks and infrared thermometers to Wisconsin schools.

Each public school district will receive a one-time allocation of cloth masks and infrared thermometers using a formula based upon enrollment (see the attached table). The allocation of cloth masks is intended to provide a supply for students and staff and account for the need to replace masks as they are lost or damaged.

To facilitate delivery and confirm the desire to receive the masks and thermometers, districts will need to complete a brief survey by June 24.  Shipments are expected to begin in early July.

read more…

Gov. Evers announces $46 million for K-12 schools from CARES Act for COVID-19 assistance

The funding announced today comes from more than $80 million in federal funds provided under the CARES Act that were allocated to Wisconsin to be distributed under the governor’s authority and discretion.  The remaining funding will go to postsecondary institutions.

From the Governor’s press release:

“Gov. Tony Evers today announced more than $80 million in financial assistance to Wisconsin’s K-12 schools and higher education institutions. The governor announced more than $46 million to K-12 schools and $37 million to higher education partners to assist with the challenges faced relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“‘Our educators, faculty members, staff, and students have risen to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting with very little warning, and planning for a new normal,’ said Gov. Evers. ‘I’ve always said what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state, so I am hopeful this funding can help alleviate expenses already incurred and further creative efforts to transition between in-person learning and distance learning seamlessly as we prepare for the upcoming fall semester and continue to fight COVID-19 in Wisconsin.’ 

read more…

DPI readies school restart guidance; plan to be released June 22

The state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is preparing to roll out its formal guidance around returning to school next Monday afternoon (June 22). 

The guidance, being developed with input from various K-12 education stakeholder groups and the state Department of Health Services (DHS), will not be binding on districts.  Rather, it is intended to provide district and school leaders with a menu of things they should take into consideration as they plan and implement a safe, efficient, and equitable return to school. The guidance is likely to advise school leaders work closely with local health departments and officials to to address risk factors to control the spread of COVID-19. read more…

More information on new school safety “Speak Up, Speak Out” resource website

More information on new school safety “Speak Up, Speak Out” resource website

We recently posted about the new Office of School Safety (OSS) Speak Up, Speak Out (SUSO) website going live.  See below for how to get your school connected with SUSO and the resources they provide (the following information is from the OSS):


Created by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of School Safety (OSS), the Speak Up, Speak Out Resource Center (SUSO) is a comprehensive, one-stop place to turn with important concerns currently offering: threat assessment consultation, critical incident response, and general school safety guidance. Please visit the SUSO website for additional information on these three services as well as resources on school safety best practices. read more…

Wisconsin AG sues to block new USED Title IX regulations

Wisconsin AG sues to block new USED Title IX regulations

Last week, Wisconsin joined 17 other states and the District of Columbia in filing a complaint against an extensive set of new federal Title IX regulations issued in early May by the U.S. Department of Education (USED). These regulations are applicable to sexual harassment complaints by both school district students and employees and school districts will be required to revise their policies and procedures and ensure that administration and staff are trained on the new requirements.

Note: To assist school leaders the WASB has created a new Title IX resource page that can be found in the policy “hot topics” area of WASB’s website.  WASB will be adding content to the Title IX resource page throughout the summer as the August 14, 2020, effective date of the regulations approaches. 

In a news release, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said the complaint is designed to stop new regulations from weakening protections for victims of sexual assault and harassment and block the creation of inequitable disciplinary proceedings — from kindergarten through college. read more…

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The latest episode of the WASB Connection Podcast features three interviews with board members of color about their experiences and what equity means to them. Find it on our website or wherever you listen to podcasts:…

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