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

Good Morning,
I want to take this opportunity to welcome the following members to WiRSA:

Cornell School District
Sasha Busjahn, Upward Bound Instructor
The Insurance Center and Wisconsin Virtual School

In this edition:

• WiRSA Conference Registration is now open. (Room Block Deadline is Sept. 26.)
• Nominate someone for the WiRSA Rural Awards – (Deadline is Wednesday, Sept. 19.)
• Early College Credit Program Update
• National Education Legislation Update
• From the DPI – Budget Proposal
• NCEE Webinar
• Good reads from the NREA.

WiRSA Conference Registration is Now Open: The 2018 WiRSA Conference will be held at the Glacier Canyon Lodge Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells, October 29-30. View the program outline and registration information on our websiteConference Registration (Room Block Deadline is September 26.)

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 19. Visit our site for more information.

WiRSA Membership Invoices: Invoices were due Sept. 1. Reminders were sent the week of Sept 10. Please feel free to contact me, if you have questions.

Early College Credit Program Update:  (ECCP) UW Colleges Online is approved to provide online classes for the 2018-19 academic year through the Early College Credit Program. There has been much confusion about online classes and ECCP, but official approval was issued for UW Colleges Online August 23. Please note there is a late starting accelerated 10-week session beginning October 8. The spring classes in 2019 will be available in the 16-week and 10-week sessions. For more information, please contact Joyce Atkins at or Katie Seibel at Both will be at the WiRSA State Conference if you have more questions.

Legislative Update for the Week of September 10: Sept. 18– Study Committee on Identification and Management of Dyslexia

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF: FY 2019 Labor-HHS-Education conference agreement just filed
Bill and press release available – The Senate Appropriations Committee published the compromise version of the bill to fund the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Education for fiscal year 2019. I have not yet seen the Statement of Managers (aka, the report language), which will have a table showing programmatic funding levels.

Press release describing selected increases: The bill includes a $100 increase in the maximum Pell grant as well as increases for TRIO and Career and Technical education. It provides a total increase of $299 million spread among four of the largest elementary and secondary education programs: Title I Grants, IDEA state grants, Title IV-A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, and Impact Aid.

Bill text – Legislative text for the Department of Education begins on page 122.
The bill also includes appropriations for the Department of Defense and a short-term extension of current funding through December 7 for all government agencies that will not have funding in place by September 30.

From the Department of Public Instruction: Evers calls for nearly $1.7 billion hike in state funding for K-12 schools
Wisconsin’s K-12 public schools would receive a nearly $1.7 billion increase in state funding over the current budget cycle under State Superintendent Tony Evers’ two-year budget proposal released Sunday.

145 Districts Receive Sparsity Aid: The state’s small, sparsely populated school districts are sharing $25 million in aid payments that can be used to offset any costs the district incurs in educating its students.

Nominations open for Herb Kohl Foundation Leadership and Fellowship Awards

DPI releases training module that covers mandatory reporting of threats of school violence

From NCEE: The Early Advantage 1 Release Webinar Oct 9
Join us on Tuesday, October 9 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern for an in-depth look at The Early Advantage 1: Early Childhood Systems That Lead By Example, the first of two books that together will form the centerpiece of the multi-year Early Advantage international comparative study led by world-renowned early childhood researcher Sharon Lynn Kagan, with funding and support from NCEE.

The webinar will be hosted by NCEE President Marc Tucker and feature a presentation from Kagan on the book’s findings and a discussion of its implications.

Articles from NREA


More than half of rural Americans say it’s hard to access high-speed internet; it isn’t related to household income or educational level

The ‘S’ Word: How Suicide Is Devastating Amador County And Rural Communities

Stronger Schools and Stronger Communities! Great job Arizona Rural Schools Association and Executive Board.

Director Events from Last Week
Sept. 10 – Ed Issues Conference Call
Sept. 11 – 7×7 Rural Partners Forum (Postponed due to flooding)
Sept. 14 – Meeting with Katie McCabe on Rural Networking
Sept. 14 – UW Network Research group meeting

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Sept. 17 – Ed Issues Conference Call
Sept. 18 – Study Committee on Identification and Management of Dyslexia
Sept. 19 – Rural Education Research and Implementation Center Board
Sept. 19 – Members meeting on WIAA concerns
Sept. 19 – WASDA
Sept. 19 – State of Education Address

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
• WiRSA Rural Awards – Click here for more information
ESEA Information
Licensure Webinar
NREA Conference in Denver, Colorado– October 11-13
2018 WiRSA Conference, RURAL SCHOOLS MATTER, October 29-30, Glacier Canyon in Wisconsin Dells.


Thank you to our Sponsors!

Alliant Energy, CESA Foundation, Ehlers, Jostens, McKinstry,
Mid-State Technical College, National Insurance Services, Nexus Solutions,
The Insurance Center, TRICORE Insurance, UW Colleges Online,
WEA Member Benefits and Wisconsin Farmers Union