Thank you to those that have reached out to your legislators and committee members on AB 751 regarding the last-minute amendments being pushed by Assembly Speaker Voss without a public hearing. Thanks to your responses, we were able to stave off a hearing last Thursday, but we must keep the pressure on as it appears they are going take another run at it this coming Wednesday. Talking Points –It is important that we all remember that even if you presently don’t have any voucher students, this bill won’t have an immediate impact, but with the continued statewide expansion of vouchers, it could eventually impact you down the road. The other piece to remember is with the continued growth of the statewide program, all schools will be impacted in the amount of aid you will receive. Remember, with the continued expansion, everyone’s piece of the fiscal pie will become smaller. One last point to drive home is the message that important amendments like this need to be part of a public hearing, not slipped into an executive meeting for a vote at the last minute.
Please keep the pressure on with AB 314/SB 228 regarding the 28 ACT requirement for the Academic Excellence Scholarship. I made some headway in the Assembly to get this modified, but it is important for you to also voice your concerns. Finally, keep pressure on with the referendum bill AB 481/SB 355. We need to keep reminding our legislators of the impact this will have on rural schools.
WiRSA Facebook – I am asking for your help in making our Facebook Page more relevant. Please share exciting events and programs that are occurring in your schools. I will then post them on our Facebook page, to better share and promote the great things that are happening in rural schools.
Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, helps farmers positively impact their communities by supporting local school districts. The program gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a rural public school district in their community to compete for merit-based grants. Farmer nominations for the 2016 program will be accepted from January 1 to April 1, 2016. Please visit.
Events from this Past Week:
- February 1: Educational Issues Weekly Conference call
- February 2: Senate Committee on Education Executive and Public Hearing on SB 642 Career and Workforce Pilot http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/proposals/sb642
- February 3: REL Midwest Rural Research Alliance Conference Call
- February 4: Rural Wisconsin Initiative Hearing – WiRSA Registered in support of these bills.
AB 793 – Rural Teacher Loan Program
AB 794 – Rural Student Loan Reimb
AB 795 – Youth Apprenticeship Grants
AB 796 – Apprenticeship Comp. Award
AB 798 – Broadband Expansion Grant
AB 799 – Rural STEM Grants
Events for the Upcoming Week:
- February 8: Educational Issues Weekly Conference call
- February 10: Rural Wisconsin Initiative Hearing Executive Session on AB 793,794,795,796,798 and 799 (See links above)
- February 10 : Possible Hearing by Assembly Education Hearing on AB 751 and amendments
- February 10: UW Systems Strategic Planning Ed. Experts Group Meeting
- February 11: AWSA Convention Booth
- Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders:
- WiRSA Student Scholarship – (Deadline Feb. 15, 2016)
- Rural Trust’s Global Teacher Fellowship – (Deadline Feb. 12, 2016)
- Morgridge Summer Science Camps– (Deadline March 2)
- USDA’s RUS Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program (March 14 Deadline)
- Monsanto Fund – Farmers Grow Rural Education (Jan 1, 2016 to April 1, 2016)
- 2016 Conference Save the Date: November 9-10 in Stevens Point
- ESEA Information
- Into the Outdoors – Free Classroom Resources
- NREA Essay Contest
- Meemic Foundation Grants for Teachers
- 5 Share Reminder – Be sure to check 5 Share for updates.
Have a great week.