Thank you to our Sponsors: UW-Oshkosh, National Insurance Services, 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,
A couple of quick reminders – The deadline for the Rural Awards (click here), and Elections is this Friday, September 15. Also, please be sure to take a few minutes and complete the membership survey that went out last Friday. The feedback you provide will be very helpful to WiRSA moving forward.

Legislative Update for the Week of Sept. 11
Sept. 14 – Tentative date the full Assembly will debate and vote on the State Budget.

From the NREA
Senate Appropriations Committee reports FY 2018 funding bill without amendment
Today the Senate Appropriations Committee reported its fiscal year (FY) 2018 education funding bill without approving any amendments. I’ve attached a table showing programmatic funding based on what we have heard, but since we have not seen the Committee report or table yet it’s possible some numbers may change.

  • Education funding – The Senate Committee bill is far better for education programs than the House Committee bill or the President’s budget. Not counting rescissions of Pell grant funding, the bill provides $68.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education, a $29 million increase over the comparable 2017 level. However, after accounting for rescissions of previously appropriated Pell grant funding in both FY 2017 ($1.31 billion rescinded) and in this FY 2018 bill ($2.6 billion rescinded), the net change in resources represents a cut of $1.3 billion below the FY 2017 level.
  • Rejects the President’s large program eliminations – Unlike the President’s budget, the Senate Committee bill maintains funding for Title II, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Title IV-A, Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and many smaller programs that the President’s budget eliminates.

NREA Research Webinar
Weatherman, Cow Herder, and Teacher: The Complementary and Competing Roles of the Rural Multi-District Superintendent presented by Erin McHenry-Sorber, PhD West Virginia University and Daniella Hall, PhD Clemson University
This research webinar will address some of the critical challenges faced by states to work efficiently with their rural schools and districts. It will also provide an in-depth examination of the strengths and challenges involved in one approach to addressing these challenges: the formation of a multi-district union, in which the state combines individual school districts and their respective school boards into a regional union overseen by a superintendent and a composite, central school board. Please join us on: October 2, 2017 12 PM – 1 PM EST. To register RSVP here.

From UW-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
We’re hosting an event! Join me & Journal Sentinel education reporter Erin Richards on Tuesday, Sept. 19 for a conversation about school choice. It’s the latest of our Across the Divide community conversations, hosted in tandem by WUWM & the Journal Sentinel. You can RSVP and/or get more details here. Please feel free to share the invite with anyone you think might be interested in attending! Those who can’t make it in person will also have the opportunity to participate live through Facebook and Twitter.

Director Events from Last Week
Sept. 5, JFC Hearing
Sept. 6, JFC Hearing
Sept. 7, Assembly Education Hearing
Sept. 7, Rep. Thiesfeldt

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Sept. 11, Ed Issues Call
Sept. 13, CESA 3 PAC

Reminders
WiRSA Conference Oct. 30-31, ‘Rural Schools – The Heart and Soul of Wisconsin.’ We again have strong General Session speakers including Dr. Katherine Cramer and Leroy Butler, along with 32 different break-out sessions to appeal to administrators, board members and teachers. Please join us at the Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. Please note the room block deadline is September 29th.
WiRSA Conference Brochure

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships
2017 WiRSA Rural Awards
2017 WiRSA Conference – Oct. 30-31 Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells
ESEA Information and more here.

Have A Great Week!