Thank you to our Sponsors: UW-Oshkosh, National Insurance Services, Culver’s VIP Foundation, Farmers Union, CESA Foundation, Forecast5, PMA, Meemic, Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative, Jostens and WEA Members Benefits

The Community’s public school is the greatest discovery, and the cornerstone of our democratic society – Horace Mann

Good Morning,
I want to thank everyone that was able to speak or submitted written testimony at the various JFC public meeting around the state. Your efforts are paying off. Read this Cap Times article. Great Job!

Thank You
I would like to thank Cheryl Gillicksrud and Ken Kasinski from CESAs 4 and 12 for allowing me to meet with their PACs over the last couple of weeks. I enjoy traveling to the CESAs and seeing the great things that are happening around the state.

Rural School Awards
The WiRSA Rural Awards are a great way to recognize the great people you have in your district for the outstanding things that they do for your school district and rural education. Now is a great time to start thinking about nominees for the 2017 WiRSA Rural Awards. Click here for more information.

WiRSA Conference Alert – Call for Presentations Coming Soon
A call for presentations for this year’s WiRSA Conference, October 30-31, will be coming out later this month. Take a look at all of the great programs you are offering in your districts and share them with the rest of the organization. We are looking for a blend of classroom programs, district level programs and district-community collaboration. Please begin talking with and encouraging staff and others to submit a presentation when the call comes out.

Upcoming Legislative Hearings
April 24 – JFC on AB 123 relating to Technology Block Grants
April 24 – Senate Education Committee on Special Session AB 11 relating to mental health Training Program
April 25 – Assembly Committee on Workforce Development AB 192 relating to CTE incentive grants and appropriations
April 25 – Senate Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing and State and Federal Relations SB 11 relating to changes with student work permits.
April 26 – Assembly Education Committee on AB 95 relating to a School Board Member refusing payment, and AB 233 relating to the State submitting a plan under ESSA.
Keep up the great job of talking with your legislators about the referendum bills. Your voices are having an impact.

Walker dismisses penalizing school districts that raise money via referendum
Walker gives his thoughts at meeting in Pecatonica regarding the bill that would penalize schools passing referendums. Read article.

New report examines the student loan repayment status and debt burden of bachelor’s degree recipients 4 years after graduation.

Approximately 72 percent of 2007-08 bachelor’s degree recipients had borrowed to pay for their postsecondary education, either undergraduate or graduate, and 63 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients still had student loan debt 4 years after completing their degree. The National Center for Education Statistics released a new Statistics in Brief report entitled The Debt Burden of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients. The report explores student loan repayment and outstanding debt for 2007-08 bachelor’s degree recipients 4 years after graduation, as well as how these loan repayment outcomes varied by employment and further degree enrollment. The study found that:

• Among borrowers with no additional postsecondary enrollment, 69 percent were repaying their loans 4 years after graduation, while 17 percent had paid off their loans, 9 percent were not paying but still owed, and 5 percent had defaulted;

• Borrowers who had no postsecondary enrollment after completing their bachelor’s degree owed an average of $24,200, and those who had borrowed for further postsecondary education owed an average of $61,300; and

• Among borrowers who were in repayment, employed, and had no further enrollment, their average debt burden (monthly loan payment as a percent of monthly salary) was 10 percent. About 22 percent of this group carried a debt burden over 12 percent.

The data used in this study are drawn from the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of students who completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree during the 2007–08 academic year.

To view the full report, please visit website.

Review of the Research Supporting Reading Interventions for Students in Grades 1–3
This review by Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast provides updated information on the evidence supporting the use of reading interventions for students who are at risk of reading difficulty in grades 1–3.

The review team identified 27 studies of 20 different interventions that they determined met What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards. All but one of the reading interventions had positive or potentially positive effects in at least one area of reading performance. Outcomes were strongest in decoding of words and pseudowords and were strong in passage reading fluency and reading comprehension. There were no effects found in vocabulary.

However, the conditions in most of the studies do not reflect common response to intervention (RTI) practice in schools. Most of the interventions included high levels of ongoing support and monitoring for the interventionists, much more than schools typically provide. Additionally, a slight majority involved one-on-one interventions, as opposed to small group interventions, which are used more often in schools.
This report is timely given a recent IES evaluation using intensive reading interventions in an RTI model. That evaluation showed no positive impacts for students whose score was at or slightly below the cut score that would make them eligible for RTI services in their school.

Read the report.

Six charts that illustrate the divide between rural and urban America

Director Events from Last Week
April 17, Ed Issues Call
April 17, Connecting Policy and Research Symposium – UW
April 18, Mtg. with Senator Petrowski on Whole Grade Sharing Incentive
April 19, WASDA Regional Meeting in Richland Center
April 19, WiRSA Board of Directors Meeting via Zoom 3:30 – 5:30
April 21, CESA 12 PAC
April 21, Interview with WPR on Farm to School

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
April 24, Ed Issues Call
April 25, WiRSA Conference Planning Committee
April 28, Battelle for Kids Rural Collaborative conference call

2017 WiRSA Conference Save the Date
The 2017 WiRSA Conference will be held October 30-31 at the Glacier Canyon Lodge at the
Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells. Please note the date and location change for this year. See attached for room information and discounts.

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships
2017 WiRSA Rural Awards
2017 WiRSA Conference save the date – October 30-31, Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells
School Funding Reform for Wisconsin
ESEA Information and more here.
ESSA Overview Video – Narrated PowerPoint – This information is also available off the ESEA web page on the DPI site.
Into the Outdoors – Free Classroom Resources
Meemic Foundation Grants for Teachers
2017 AHEC Summer Health Camps

Have A Great Week!