Thank you to our Sponsors: CESA 10 Facilities Management Services, CESA Foundation, Ehlers, Forecast5, Jostens, M3 Insurance, National Insurance Services, Nexus Solutions, PMA, Siemens, UW Colleges Online, UW-Oshkosh, WEA Members Benefits, Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative and Wisconsin Farmers Union

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

Good Morning,
I hope you all had a chance to recharge over the Thanksgiving holiday. Please be sure to pass the scholarship information below on to your counselors to allow your students time to complete the scholarship process.

Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships – Please remind your counselors to check out the WiRSA website for the WiRSA scholarships, including the new education scholarships.
Applications are due by close of business on Thursday, February 15.

Legislative Update for the Week of November 20.
There is nothing that pertains to education on this week’s docket.

Interesting Research Regarding the Impact of ACT 10
The study shows how after Act 10, Wisconsin teachers are paid less and have fewer years of experience.

Connect America – Using TV White Spaces to Decrease the Digital Divide
Nothing is more critical to improving the quality of rural education than bridging the digital divide. That’s why WISRA and the National Rural Education Association are joining forces with Connect Americans Now, a broad coalition advocating the expansion of broadband access. Connect Americans Now has a plan to eliminate the digital divide by taking advantage of TV White Spaces – unused spectrum in the UHF television bands.

Nationally 7 in 10 teachers assign homework requiring broadband, yet 5 million households with children either don’t have access to high speed Internet or simply can’t afford it. By allowing the use of TV white space to broadcast high speed internet, the FCC will give providers the ability to deliver internet that is four times faster and reaches sixteen times farther than Wi-Fi. And it’s estimated that broadband Internet served on the White Space spectrum could reach about 80% of the rural population that lacks high-speed Internet access today.

I have been working with Deb Jordahl from Connect America in support of this initiative.

If you would like to help support this effort to expand rural access to broadband by urging the FCC to ensure the continued use of at least three channels below 700 MHz on an unlicensed basis in every market in the country. Feel free to use the attached sample letter to the FCC.

From Education Week
‘Precious Little Evidence’ That Vouchers Improve Achievement, recent research finds.

Rural Development Initiatives 2018 Nominations Open
Wisconsin Rural Partners Inc. is now accepting nominations to recognize 2018 Top Rural Development Initiatives. Anyone living in or serving rural Wisconsin can nominate an initiative. Guidelines and the submission form are available here.

Any type of project or activity in rural Wisconsin is eligible for nomination. The Top Rural Development Initiative award recognizes communities and organizations that have had a positive impact on their rural area. Initiatives can be in agriculture, economic or community development, business, education, health, energy, environment, philanthropy, tourism, the arts or any other field.
The Top Rural Development Initiative Program began in 1998 as a way to share stories of success to prove that through collaboration and innovation, challenges can become opportunities. Nominations and awards highlight success achieved throughout rural Wisconsin and can help build local capacity. These initiatives also provide models for others facing similar constraints, and prove that success is possible.

Wisconsin Rural Partners look for nominations that showcase strong partnerships and collaborations, cite positive community impacts, demonstrate innovative ideas, and can serve as a model for others.
Wisconsin Rural Partners encourage the nomination of initiatives that have moved through the planning phase and into the implementation phase to better enable you to highlight the positive impact of the project. Initiatives that received designation as a Top Rural Development Initiative in the past are not eligible.

Award winners will be recognized at the Wisconsin Rural Summit, to be held April 19, 2018, location to be determined.

Nominations are due by close of business on Friday, February 2, 2018. For more information contact board@wirural.org.

Director Events from Last Week
Nov. 20, Ed Issues Weekly Conference Call

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Nov. 27, Ed Issues Weekly Conference Call
Nov. 28, Rural Collaborative Network Meeting
Dec. 1, FAST Symposium

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships
Clif Bar Family Foundation Grants
ESEA Information.
DPI Budget Summary
Licensure Webinar
Save the Date: 2018 WiRSA Conference, October 29-30 Glacier Canyon in Wisconsin Dells

Have a Great Week!