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,
Wow, it is hard to believe another school year is ending. This is one of the busiest times of the year for high school and district administrators with the numerous activities that coincide with graduation. Many of you will be or have started organizing awards/scholarships, baccalaureate and graduation activities. In many of our rural communities this is a time of pride and coming together. As I travel to different award/scholarship ceremonies I am amazed at the financial support given to graduates for post-secondary work. This represents a true sense of local and state commitment to students in public education.

Upcoming Legislative Hearings
May 23 and 25 – Joint Committee on Finance Executive Session – We had heard that Education was going to be heard this week, but it has not been added to the schedule.
May 24 – SB 127 on CTE Incentive Grants will be heard in the Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Military Affairs and Senior Issues. This bill removes the per pupil limitation on career and technical education incentive grants that the Department of Workforce Development awards to school districts.
May 24 – AB 280 on Financial Literacy will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions. This bill directs each school board to adopt academic standards for financial
literacy and incorporate instruction in financial literacy into the curriculum in
grades kindergarten to 12.
May 24 – AB 275 on prohibition against adults knowingly permitting or failing to take action to prevent the illegal consumption of alcohol beverages by underage persons will be heard in executive session by the Assembly committee on State Affairs.

How foreign investors seeking green cards get SC charter schools built, at a price.

Federal Education Budget Update from the NREA (In case you missed my earlier email)

The Washington Post reports it has a copy of a “near-final” version of the President’s request for the Department of Education (ED) budget for fiscal year 2018, with a total cut to education programs that basically matches what was in the President’s “skinny budget” released in March (CEF’s table shows the relatively few specified cuts and additions here). The Post reports gross cuts of $10.6 billion for ED for next year, with a net cut of $9.2 billion below the 2017 level (note that CEF’s table compared the 2018 request to the 2016 enacted level, showing a net cut of $9.3 billion).

The Post article includes some specifics that were not in the skinny budget, including two large cuts. The first cut is eliminating the new student support and academic enrichment (Title IV-A) block grant created by the Every Student Succeeds Act to replace a host of categorical grants. It was authorized at $1.65 billion for fiscal year 2017, but funded at only $400 million in its first year. The second large cut is to Work Study (the skinny budget said it would be cut significantly), which is cut by $490 million (54%).

The Post article details the following cuts that are in addition to those described in the skinny budget:

Elementary and secondary education —

  • Student support and academic enrichment grants – eliminated ($400 million)
  • Career and technical education – cut $196 million
  • Arts in education – eliminated ($27 million)
  • Native Hawaiian education – eliminated ($33 million)
  • Alaska Native education – eliminated ($32 million)
  • Promise neighborhoods – cut $13 million
  • Javits gifted and talented students – eliminated ($12 million)
  • Special Olympics education programs – eliminated ($12 million)

Higher education —

  • Work Study – cut $490 million
  • Perkins Loans – let the program end
  • Student loan forgiveness for public servants – eliminated
  • Subsidized student loans for needy undergraduates – “take the first step toward ending” this
  • International education and foreign language studies – eliminated ($72 million)
  • Child care access means parents in school – eliminated ($15 million)

Other —

  • Adult education – cut $96 million
  • Office of Civil Rights – cut $1.7 million

The article also describes some of the changes in funding for Title I – making $1 billion “portable” to follow children to other public schools beyond their neighborhood, among others.

Rural advocates and political leaders respond to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue’s announcement that he will eliminate the undersecretary position that oversees programs for rural housing, broadband, electricity, water treatment, and other services. Full article

Wisconsin critics blast the cuts proposed in Trump’s leaked education budget
Great article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the states response to the federal education budget.

Director Events from Last Week
May 15, Teacher Speak Out at UW
May 15, Ed Issues Call
May 15, Recovery Charter School Drafting Meeting at UW
May 17, Battelle for Kids Rural Collaborative conference call
May 17, Albany High School scholarship presentation
May 18, Assembly Education Meeting
May 19, Meetings with myONcore and Best Practices

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
May 21, Greenwood High School scholarship presentation
May 22, Ed Issues Call
May 22, Oakfield High School scholarship presentation
May 23, Battelle for Kids Rural Collaborative meeting
May 24, Rural Education and Healthcare, Grand Challenges Meet Up – Madison
May 25, CESA Conference – Madison

WiRSA Conference Call for Presentations
The call for presentations for this year’s annual WiRSA Conference (Oct. 30-31) at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells is now open. The WiRSA Planning Committee is seeking proposals for sessions that share best practices, solutions and research in and outside our rural classrooms.
We encourage you to share the great programs you are providing. Examples, but not limited to, teacher professional development, early literacy, innovative classroom practices, collaborative efforts within a school or with other schools and the use of technology.
To submit a proposal, complete this form by the submission deadline of June 23, 2017.

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. More information

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.

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!