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

Good Morning,
First, I would like to thank Dave Honish and the CESA 8 Administrators for a great meeting on Friday.

In this edition, be sure to look at the Blue Ribbon Commission update which includes all future meetings, the Microsoft Techspark free teacher training, the NREA funding gap report, the graduation report put out by APL and the REL items.

Welcome to WiRSA, Durand School District. We look forward to working with you.

WiRSA Rural Awards
The WiRSA office 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
The Assembly wrapped up their session last week and the Senate is winding down this week, so no legislation pertaining to education at this writing.

Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding Dates Announced

The next meeting of the School Funding Commission will be held today, March 5 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 think everything is ok.

  • 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 metal 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

Microsoft Techspark – FREE Teacher Training This Summer in Green Bay
Microsoft TechSpark is focused on Rural America. Our efforts are based mainly in Brown and Outagamie Counties, but I thought that this FREE 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 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

State Funding Gap Report regarding Poverty

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.

From the UW Applied Population Laboratory
Sarah Kemp and David Egan-Robertson recently released a report projecting the number of Wisconsin high school graduates through 2026 at a variety of geographic scales. View report

From REL Midwest
Developing future-ready students in rural areas
Regional events help inform REL Midwest’s work around rural issues, particularly when it comes to ensuring that students graduate ready to enter the workforce.

Have you seen these recent career readiness resources?
You won’t want to miss these resources from the College and Career Readiness and Success Center focused on the education-to-workforce pipeline and REL Midwest on American Indian education.

Director Events from Week of January 22
Feb 26 – Ed Issues Weekly Call
Feb 27 – RCN Meeting
Feb 28 – Grand Challenges meeting at UW
Mar 1 – Teacher Speak-out meeting and Dual Credit research meeting
Mar 2 – CESA 8

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

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