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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,
As 2017 comes to an end, I would like to thank everyone for your support of WiRSA and the feedback you have provided over the last couple of years. Happy Holidays from my office and the Board of Directors.

Legislative Update for the Week of December 18
Tuesday Dec. 19 – Senate Committee on Education will have a public hearing at 1:00 on the following Bills:
Senate Bill 159 – Education about nutrition.
Senate Bill 222/ AB 300 – Providing information about mandatory pupil examinations.
Senate Bill 234/ AB 304 – Allowing a pupil’s parent or guardian to opt out of certain statewide examinations.
Senate Bill 427 – Notification of certain construction activities in school buildings.
Senate Bill 483 – Robotics league participation grants.
Senate Bill 491 – The collection and maintenance of certain public library data by the Division for Libraries and Technology, authorizing small, rural libraries to apply for information technology block grants and educational technology training grants, and making appropriations.
Senate Bill 494 – Publication of school and school district accountability reports.
Senate Bill 536/AB 488 – Access to pupil assessments that are required to be administered by school boards, operators of independent charter schools, and private schools participating in a parental choice program and repealing rules related to accessing pupil assessments.
Senate Bill 556 – Requiring an evaluation to determine whether a pupil with an extended absence from school is a child with a disability.

Wednesday, Dec. 20, Assembly Bill 559 – Transfer policies for college credit earned by high school pupils. Will have an Executive Hearing by the Committee on Colleges and Universities.

Teacher Protection Bill – There is a possibility that this bill will receive a public hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday, January 4. I will keep you posted.

Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding
The committee held an initial meeting on Thursday December 14. The committee heard informational testimony from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau and the DPI. There were many good questions by the committee and a sense that the committee had a strong focus to take on this issue in a bipartisan way. The commission is chaired by Rep. Kitchens and Sen. Olsen. Public hearings will be scheduled around the state for input after the first of the year.
See the attached DPI presentation. Here is the link to the LFB Handout.
The press conference and the meeting on Wisconsin Eye.
A follow up article by Molly Beck.

144 school districts receive sparsity aid

From the NREA
Keep It Local: Rural Foundations Encourage Designation Towns, Counties As Heirs To Stem Wealth Drain
Rural Studio’s $20K House has such innovative design that it’s changing the entire housing system–from mortgages to zoning laws. Could this be one of the answers to teacher housing in rural communities? This House Costs Just $20,000—But It’s Nicer Than Yours 

The E-Rate Program: 6 Big Numbers to Know

Success in rural, high-poverty public high schools: path to equity? By Lydia Dobyns

From IES

Webinar: Using Cost Analysis to Inform Decisions About Professional Learning

Join Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands for a free webinar that will explore cost analysis methods in educational decision making and how districts can use these methods to select programs or inform resource allocation.

The webinar will draw from resources including a recently published IES report, The Critical Importance of Costs for Education Decisions, and CostOut, an IES-funded online toolkit. During the event:

Using Cost Analysis to Inform Decisions About Professional Learning

January 11, 2018

12–1:30 p.m. ET

Register here

Director Events from Last Week
Dec. 11, Ed Issues Weekly Conference Call
Dec. 12, Meeting with Rep. Quinn
Dec. 14, Blue Ribbon Committee on School Finance and meeting with Rep. Ott
Dec. 15, Prairie du Chein School Visit

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Dec. 18, Ed Issues Weekly Conference Call
Dec. 19, Senate Education Committee Hearing
Dec. 19, RCN meeting
Dec. 20, Ed Issues group meeting

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.

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