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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,
Please be sure to remind your counselors that the due date for the WiRSA Scholarships is fast approaching; the close of business on Thursday, February 15. Also, be sure to remind them of the second set of scholarships for students going into education. Check out the WiRSA website for the WiRSA scholarships.

WiRSA Office Closed
The WiRSA office will be closed February 10-14.

Legislative Update for the Week of February 4
February 6 – The Senate Education will meet at 9:00 am in 300 Southeast on the following:
Senate Bill 711, relating to: a pilot grant program to support college courses taught in high schools and making an appropriation.
Senate Bill 677, relating to: excluding certain college credit in high school programs from the Early College Credit Program.
Senate Bill 737, relating to: emergency outpatient mental health treatment for minors.
Senate Bill 663, relating to: A Department of Children and Families pilot project to expand four-year-old kindergarten programs and making an appropriation.
Senate Bill 685 and AB 477, relating to: supplemental aid for school districts with a large area.
Senate Bill 655, relating to: notice to a school of a permanency review or hearing, notice to a school district of a foster home or group home license or out-of-home care placement, and transfer of pupil records.

Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding
The next meeting of the School Funding Commission TBA. A request was made at the Milwaukee hearing that the committee set the hearing calendar farther in advance, so folks can plan and prepare to give testimony.

Article from the February 2 hearing in Milwaukee –

Testimony Tips for future hearings:
1) We strongly encourage Business Mangers, Bookkeepers and/or other key financial personnel to present as they work with this daily.
2) Key areas to build testimony around
a) School districts lack a predictable, sustainable funding mechanism which impacts programming for students and the ability to attract and retain quality educators in our districts.
b) School choice funding is impacting our property taxpayers and there is a lack of transparency of where their tax dollars are being allocated.
c) The ever-changing role of the traditional community public school and the responsibilities and expenses associated with the mandates imposed upon our districts. a) Unfunded Mandates: Although well meaning, new programs are often mandated by the state.
d) Informative links
Blue Ribbon Commission website
Blue Ribbon Commission members
Blue Ribbon Commission mission and directive
Legislative Fiscal Bureau school finance documents

From the DPI

Charter grant applications now available

Applications for federal grants through the Wisconsin Charter Schools Program (WCSP) are now available on the Department of Public Instruction Charter Grant website. The grant applications are due by 4:30 p.m. March 9.

Additional information is available in the attached news item or on the Department of Public Instruction newsroom website. (Text here.)

Please direct comments or questions about this news item to Tom McCarthy, (608) 266-3559, or Thomas.McCarthy@dpi.wi.gov.

Hearing scheduled on educator licensing emergency rules

The Department of Public Instruction will conduct a hearing from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Feb. 15 to take public testimony on emergency rules related to PI 34, educator licensing. The hearing will be held at department headquarters, GEF 3, Room P41, 125 South Webster Street, Madison.

Additional information is available in the attached news item or on the Department of Public Instruction newsroom website. (Text here.)

Please direct comments or questions about this news item to Tom McCarthy, (608) 266-3559, or Thomas.McCarthy@dpi.wi.gov.

From the NREA
Mark your calendars for the 2018 110th Annual Research and National Forum to Advance Rural Education! The conference will be Thursday, October 11, 2018, through Friday, October 13, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center in Denver, Colorado. Please visit our Convention and Research page for updates.

New Student-Centered Funding Pilot Program
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced new flexibility for school districts to create
equitable, student-centered funding systems under a pilot program authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The flexibility will allow school districts to combine eligible Federal funds with State and local funds to allocate resources to schools based on the number of students and the corresponding level of need.

This type of system, often called “student-centered funding” or “weighted student funding”, is widely
considered to be a modern, transparent and quantifiable way to allocate resources to the students most in need. Link

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who may apply?
All local educational agencies (LEAs) are eligible to apply. The Department is authorized to award flexibility to 50 LEAs.
2. How do you apply?
The application will be available for download from the Department of Education website beginning February 7, 2018. Completed applications can be submitted to weightedfundingpilot@ed.gov.
3. What is being awarded?
The program will award flexibility only. It does not include a financial award.
4. When is the application due?
For LEAs that indicate on their application that they plan to use the flexibility during the upcoming 2018-2019 school year, the application is due by March 12, 2018. For LEAs that indicate they plan to use the flexibility during the 2019-2020 school year, the application is due by July 15, 2018.
For LEAs that will not use the flexibility until the 2019-2020 school year, the time between award and use may be used for planning.
5. When will the flexibility be awarded?
The Department intends to award the flexibility on a rolling basis, with those LEAs that apply to use the flexibility during the 2018-2019 school year receiving the earliest award notices.
6. Where can I go for additional information?
Prospective applicants can email weightedfundingpilot@ed.gov with questions or comments.

Director Events from Week of January 22
Jan. 29 – WPEN Webinar
Jan. 30 – Meeting with Todd Lacher from the Institute for Research and Reform in Education
Feb 1 – Meeting with Rep. Felzkowski (White Space Technology)
Feb. 1 – Meeting with Sen. Darling and Rep. Nygrens (Language clarification for School Leadership Loan Program)
Feb. 1 – Assembly Education Committee
Feb. 1 – WPR Interview
Feb. 2 – Blue Ribbon Funding Commission Meeting

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Feb. 5 – Ed Issues Conference Call
Feb. 5 – Jennifer Berkshire Interview
Feb. 5 – Dr. Bobbi Damrow – Mid-States Tech
Feb. 6 – Sen. Marklein (White Space Technology)
Feb. 6 – Senate Education Committee
Feb. 7 – CESA 7
Feb. 10-14 – WiRSA office closed

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