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

Good Morning,
In this edition, be sure to check the Blue Ribbon Commission update which includes the rescheduled meeting in                La Crosse, State Supt. Evers’ School Safety Proposal and the AWSA Webinar on licensing.

WiRSA Rural Awards
WiRSA is now taking applications for the 2018 WiRSA Rural Awards. The WiRSA Rural Awards are a way to recognize the great people you have in your district and community for the outstanding things that they do for your school and rural education. The deadline for nominations is September 14. Click here for more information.

Legislative Update for the Week of March 5
March 12 – Governor Walker will sign the Sparsity Aid and Low Revenue Bill at Riverdale HS.
March 13 – Senate Education Committee will meet to tour Data Recognition Corporation’s Madison Scoring Center.

Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding Dates Announced
The next meeting of the School Funding Commission will be held today, March 19 from 1:30-6:00 PM in La Crosse at the North Woods International School N2541 Sablewood Rd. The Commission will hear testimony from invited speakers including representatives from the following:
Sparta Public School District, Onalaska School District, and CESA 4.
Following the presentations, members of the public are invited to speak and share their thoughts.

The second March hearing will be held on March 26 in De Pere at Foth, 2121 Innovation Court from 2:00–6:00. The Blue Ribbon Commission will hear testimony from invited speakers including representatives from the following: Chamber of Commerce- Partners in Education, and CESA 7.

Future meetings are scheduled for the following communities from 2:00-6:00 PM, locations still to be determined. I encourage all of you to attend the Blue Ribbon Commission meeting nearest you and share your thoughts on funding with the Commission. If they don’t hear from us, they assume everything is okay.
• Monday, April 9- Fennimore
• Monday, April 23- Oshkosh
• Monday, May 7- Tomahawk
• Monday, May 21- Turtle Lake
• Monday, June 4- Madison

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) Removal of enrollment from the Sparsity Aid Formula (some legislators have expressed interest in doing this)
c) School choice funding is impacting our property taxpayers and there is a lack of transparency of where their tax dollars are being allocated.
d) Funding for school mental health.
e) Increase to Special Education categorical appropriation.
f) 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.
g) Informative links
Blue Ribbon Commission website
Blue Ribbon Commission members
Blue Ribbon Commission mission and directive
Legislative Fiscal Bureau school finance documents

From DPI
Evers offers comprehensive agenda to improve school safety
State Superintendent Tony Evers sent a letter yesterday to Gov. Scott Walker and legislative leaders asking for a special session to adopt a comprehensive school safety agenda. In his statement about the work he says, “All of these proposals are focused on improving safety for students and their schools.”

Statement
PDF
HTML

Letter to Gov. Scott Walker and Legislative Leaders

AWSA Webinar on Licensing Changes
AWSA invites you to join our second webinar this year on significant changes to educator licensure in Wisconsin. The webinar will take place at 1:00 pm on Thursday, April 26.

With lifetime licensing coming into effect, there continue to be many questions from members and their staff about the status of the license they currently hold, as well as the lifetime status of other licenses they might hold (e.g., a principal who let his/her teaching license lapse but would like to receive a lifetime teaching license). The webinar will address frequently asked questions on lifetime licensing and provide an update on the licensure changes currently being proposed by the DPI. DPI TEPDL Director, David DeGuire, will be our guest, so you can trust that you are hearing answers to your questions from the person in charge of leading these changes for our state.

You will be able to access the webinar by registering at this link.

If you are not available please know that we will be recording and posting the webinar online within 24 hours of the event.

Microsoft TechSpark – FREE Teacher Training This Summer in Green Bay -Deadline March 30th
Microsoft TechSpark is focused on Rural America. Our efforts are based mainly in Brown and Outagamie Counties, but I thought that this FREE Code.org training may be of interest to the schools within your network.

Microsoft’s TechSpark Initiative is excited to partner with CESA 7, Marquette University, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and Code.org to bring Computer Science Teacher training to Green Bay this summer (June 25 – 29). No computer science experience needed to get started.

This training is FREE thanks to Microsoft grants and other funders.
Event Details: CSD Training Slide
Register Now

From the NREA
How This Small Oklahoma Town is Improving Rural Connectivity: A Road Trip to Sallisaw

Call for Proposals for the NREA Convention and Research Symposium:
The convention will be held OCTOBER 11–13, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. If you have a great rural program to share with others I encourage you to submit a proposal.
ONLINE PROPOSAL SUBMISSION Due by April 13, 2018.
Submit your proposal here.

Director Events from Last Week
Mar 5 – Ed Issues Weekly Call
Mar 5 – Blue Ribbon Commission on Funding – La Crosse – Rescheduled for March 19
Mar 7 – Educators Rising Competition and Summit at UWSP
Mar 9 – Ed Event Training

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Mar 12 – Ed Issues Weekly Call
Mar 12 – Conference call with Mara Tieken
Mar 12 – Sparsity Aid Bill signing – Riverdale HS
Mar 13 – CESA 3
Mar 16 – WASDA Regional Meeting – Richland Center

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
• WiRSA Rural Awards – Click here for more information
WiRSA Scholarships
Clif Bar Family Foundation Grants
ESEA Information
DPI Budget Summary
Licensure Webinar
NREA Conference in Denver, Colorado– October 11-13
2018 WiRSA Conference, October 29-30, Glacier Canyon in Wisconsin Dells