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

Good Afternoon,
Please remind staff and community members to vote on Tuesday April 4. Along with the State Superintendent race there are many key referendums and school board races.

Get out to the JFC Public Hearing nearest you. (Dates and locations are listed below.) Capitol sources have told us that it is extremely important for administrators, board members and parents to show up at these hearings to advocate strongly on behalf of the children we serve.

With many interests competing for budget dollars, school leaders need to make their voices heard. This time we have the advantage of the governor proposing a significant increase to K-12 funding, and we need to make sure our legislators and members of the JFC know how important that investment is to our schools and the students they serve.

Be sure to contact your legislators and express your opposition to the six referendum bills that I sent you in a legislative alert on Friday. Let’s get out ahead of this before it gains momentum.

Upcoming Legislative Hearings
April 3 – JFC Public Hearing at UW-Platteville Ullsvick Hall from 10:00 am-5:00 pm
April 5 – JFC Public Hearing at State Fair Park, Exposition Center from 10:00 am-6:00 pm
April 6 – Assembly Education Committee – Executive Session
April 7 – JFC Public Hearing at Berlin High School from 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Dates and Locations for Joint Finance Committee Public Hearings
April 3 – Platteville at UW-Platteville                April 5 – Milwaukee at State Fair Park
April 7 – Berlin at Berlin HS                               April 18 – Spooner at Spooner HS
April 19 – Ellsworth at Ellsworth HS                 April 21 Marinette at Marinette HS

Education Academy Information
On Feb. 8, several educational organizations got together to hold an Education Academy for legislators and their staff. There were a number of good sessions that you might want to share with your Boards, especially the one on school finance.

From NREA – Administration details $3 billion of possible education cuts for 2017
According to Politico, the Administration provided Congress a list of possible cuts to make in the fiscal year 2017 bills currently being formulated, including almost $3 billion of cuts to Department of Education programs. These are $18 billion of options for cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding for 2017 that the Administration proposed with its 2018 “skinny budget” earlier this month.

The education cuts include the following:
• $1.3 billion cut from Pell Grants, which reflects the reduction in Pell Grant funding in the House and Senate Appropriations Committee-reported bills (the Senate bill rescinds $1.2 billion of previously appropriated Pell Grant funding while the House bill cuts the 2017 funding level by $1.3 billion).
• $1.2 billion cut from Supporting Effective Instruction (Title II) State Grants, which the President’s 2018 budget entirely eliminates. Note that if Congress were to make the $1.2 billion cut in 2017, then the President’s budget could not produce $2.4 billion of savings from eliminating the program in 2018. The President’s budget used that $2.4 billion of “savings” in 2018 to offset defense spending above the defense cap.
• $190 million cut by eliminating the comprehensive literacy development grants (formerly Striving Readers) in Title I.
• The remaining $248 million cut reflects programs eliminated by Every Student Succeeds Act and whose funding is intended to be covered by the new Title IV block grant in FY 2017.

State overseers believe they know better than local Wisconsinites
Republican lawmakers seek limits on school referendums

New Guide Helps Districts Analyze and Better Use Student-Level Disciplinary Data

Across the country, education leaders and policy makers are studying data to determine if certain student subgroups are disproportionately facing exclusionary disciplinary actions, such as out-of-school suspension. A new report from Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands is designed to help school and district leaders use data to better inform their use of disciplinary actions.

The guide can help administrators determine whether disciplinary actions are disproportionately applied to some student subgroups and whether differences exist in student academic outcomes across the types of disciplinary actions that students receive. The guide also assists schools and districts with designing and carrying out their own analyses and with engaging in conversations with external researchers who are studying disciplinary data.

Read the report.

New Multi-Volume Report Examines the Characteristics and Experiences of Special Education Students in High School

Secondary school youth who receive special education services feel positive about school, but are more likely than their peers to struggle academically, be suspended, and lag behind in taking key steps towards postsecondary education and jobs. Among youth with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), those with autism, deaf-blindness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, and orthopedic impairments are most at-risk for not transitioning successfully beyond high school.

The Institute of Education Sciences released a report today (March 28) from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012), the third in the NLTS series commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education over several decades. The multi-volume report from the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), entitled Preparing for Life after High School: The Characteristics and Experiences of Youth in Special Education, presents updated information on secondary school youth with disabilities across the country. Volume 1 compares youth with an IEP to their non-IEP peers, and Volume 2 compares youth across disability groups. The study is being conducted as part of the congressionally-mandated National Assessment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and the report volumes are intended to inform discussions regarding this important legislation and efforts to address reauthorization of this important legislation.

NLTS 2012 includes a nationally representative set of nearly 13,000 youth with and without an IEP who were ages 13-21 when selected for the study. Among youth with an IEP are students who represent each of the disability categories recognized by IDEA 2004, and among youth without an IEP are students with a plan developed under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Both youth and their parent/guardian were surveyed in 2012-2013.

Key findings from the multi-volume report suggest:

Youth with an IEP, particularly those with intellectual disability and emotional disturbance, are more likely than their peers to be socioeconomically disadvantaged. Youth with an IEP are 12 percentage points more likely to live in low-income households and are less likely to have parents who are employed or have a college education. Among disability groups, youth with intellectual disability and youth with emotional disturbance are more socioeconomically disadvantaged and more likely to attend a lower-performing school than youth with an IEP overall. In contrast, youth with autism and youth with speech or language impairments are less socioeconomically disadvantaged and less likely to attend a lower-performing school than youth with an IEP overall.

The vast majority of youth with and without an IEP feel positive about school, but those with an IEP experience bullying and are suspended at higher rates. Like their peers, more than 80 percent of youth in special education report that they are happy with school and with school staff. However, not only do youth with an IEP more commonly experience some types of bullying (e.g., being teased or called names) but, according to parent reports, they are more than twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school. Among the disability groups, youth with emotional disturbance are most likely to report being teased and are suspended, expelled, and arrested at more than twice the rates of youth with an IEP on average.

Youth with an IEP are more likely than other youth to struggle academically, yet less likely to receive some forms of school-based support. Half of all youth with an IEP report they have trouble with their classes, about 15 percentage points more than reported by their peers. However, they are less likely to report receiving school-based academic help before or after regular hours, although their parents more commonly help with homework and attend a parent-teacher conference. Among youth with an IEP, those with autism, intellectual disability, and multiple disabilities are least likely to receive school-provided instruction outside of school hours though most likely to receive modified tests and assignments.

Youth with an IEP lag their peers in planning and taking steps to obtain postsecondary education and jobs. Substantially fewer youth with an IEP expect to enroll in postsecondary education or training, compared to youth without an IEP. Reflecting these gaps, youth in special education are almost half as likely as their peers to report taking college entrance and placement tests. Forty percent report having recent paid work experience while in high school, compared with 50 percent of youth without an IEP. Among youth with an IEP, the three groups least likely to receive academic supports before or after school—youth with autism, intellectual disability, and multiple disabilities—are also least likely to take these steps to prepare for college and employment.

Youth with autism, deaf-blindness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, and orthopedic impairments are most at-risk for not transitioning successfully beyond high school. Youth in these groups are less likely than all youth with an IEP to have key characteristics and experiences linked to success after high school, such as performing typical daily living tasks, engaging with friends and in school activities, or preparing for college, careers, and independent living.

Read Volumes 1 and 2.

Director Events from Last Week
March 27, Ed. Issues Conference Call
March 27, Aaron Weisz from 60 Minutes
March 28, State Superintendent Debate at Marquette Law
March 29, Meeting with Assembly Ed. Chair Thiesfeldt regarding Whole Grade Sharing Incentive
March 30, JFC Departmental Briefings
March 31, Ed. Issues Conference Call
March 31, John Schmidt from myONcore
March 31, WORT Interview on new referendum bills

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
April 3, No Time to Lose Conference
April 3, Meeting at Tomah HS
April 7, Stevens Point WEAC Meeting

NREA Essay Contest
The NREA had an Essay Contest for students in grade 3-12, with division groups 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. The submission deadline is April 15. For more information go to the NREA website.

Presidential Teaching Award Seeks Nominations
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. The 2016-2017 nomination and application period for 7-12th grade mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers is currently open.

Established by Congress in 1983, the President may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year. The National Science Foundation (NSF) administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Presidential awardees receive a certificate signed by the President; a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities; and a $10,000 award from NSF.

Please consider nominating a talented science or mathematics teacher using the PAEMST website today. If you are interested in applying yourself, you can begin an application at www.paemst.org. The 2016-2017 nomination deadline is April 1, 2017, and the application deadline is May 1, 2017. Should you have any questions about the program or the nomination process, please contact info@paemst.org or 855-723-6780.

2017 WiRSA Conference Save the Date
The 2017 WiRSA Conference will be held Oct. 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. A request for presenters will be coming out in the Spring.

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships
2017 WiRSA Rural Awards
2017 WiRSA Conference save the date – Oct. 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!