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

Good Morning,
On behalf of myself and the WiRSA Board, we would like to take this time to wish you a safe and joyous Thanksgiving with family and friends.

WiRSA Board Special Election Results for Regions 3 and 4
Congratulations to:
Region 3 School Board Seat — Valerie Kulesa, Gilman School District

Region 4 School Board Seat — Gail Saari, Maple School District

Free Vision Screening Tool through VisionQuest/EyeSpy 20/20 and United Healthcare
Reminder to everyone of this vision screening resource:
EyeSpy 20/20 is an interactive vision screening tool for schools that I feel can be helpful to many of you. After meeting with the VisionQuest and United Healthcare Wisconsin I learned that United Healthcare is making this tool available to schools free of charge.

Reference points:
1.  VisionQuest 20/20 is a non-profit organization that earlier this year entered into a partnership with United Healthcare allowing it to provide EyeSpy 20/20 to schools in Wisconsin AT NO CHARGE TO THE SCHOOL. The license provided under this program is for LIFETIME use of EyeSpy 20/20.
2.  Schools can download the EyeSpy 20/20 program to as many computers as needed and will be provided up to 4 testing kits; which include a 10′ USB mouse extension cable, stereo testing glasses, set of reversible occluding glasses, “near” stereo testing card, translucent HOTV symbol response panel, reusable clothe eye patch, and a Quick Start Guide.
3.  More information can be found in my email dated November 13.
Here are a couple of links and attachments regarding Vision Quest and the program.   Information    YouTube
If you have questions about the program or grant, contact Phill Trewyn at or call (414) 390.5500.

Legislative Update for the Week of November 19
Nov. 20 – Legislative Council Study Committee on Child Placement and Support        Agenda

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF
Special budget and appropriations process committee’s recommendation – This morning the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform is meeting to mark up its recommendations, the main one being to switch the Congressional budget resolution from an annual to a biennial requirement (Congress would still consider appropriations bills annually). You can find detail about the Committee’s recommendations in its report. In short, the argument is that this change will remove uncertainty about the topline for appropriations each year and provide more time for Congress to do things other than debate budget resolutions each year. In the second year of a budget resolution Congress could adjust spending, revenue, and other levels (which is actually one of the two main purposes of a budget resolution). Neither the report nor the legislative text of the recommendations make any mention of the impact on the reconciliation process, which is the other main purpose of a budget resolution. Reducing the budget resolution to a biennial product cuts in half the opportunity for creating a reconciliation package* that gets expedited consideration in the Senate. The Committee also recommends the eliminating term limits for serving on the House Budget Committee, and that the Administration be required to submit specific supplemental budget data by December 1 each year, rather than waiting to submit it with the President’s budget request two months later.

*A short aside on reconciliation: a conference agreement on the budget resolution can contain reconciliation instructions directing specific committees to make changes in programs under their jurisdiction to achieve specific changes in revenues (i.e., a tax cut or increase) or spending by cutting mandatory spending. The resulting reconciliation package of changes is known as a reconciliation bill and it gets expedited consideration in the Senate, with limited debate time and no filibuster possible, which means it needs only a majority vote to pass. There are limits to what can be included in a reconciliation bill – the main ones are that it cannot change Social Security and can only contain provisions that have a budgetary impact – but the ability to provide a reconciliation bill each year is one large incentive for the House and Senate to reach agreement on the budget resolution each year.

FY 2019 appropriations negotiations in the lame-duck sessionAs expected, the issue of how much funding to provide for a southern border wall is the primary sticking point in negotiations to finalize the remaining seven fiscal year 2019 funding bills. The Homeland Security Appropriations bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee contains $5 billion, while the version approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee contains $1.6 billion. Republican senators are planning to meet today with the President to discuss the issue. Six other bills – Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services, Interior and Environment, State-Foreign Operations, and Transportation-HUD – also need to be completed by December 7, when their extension of funding expires. At that point, Congress will either need to enact additional spending – either full-year funding, a year-long extension of current funding, or another short-term funding bill – or those parts of the government would shut down. My best guess is that there will be another extension for a week to complete all the funding bills not yet finalized. The programs for which Congress has already enacted full-year funding bills, including the entire Department of Education, are set and will continue to operate.

Education policy issues in the lame-duck session – Senate HELP Committee chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and ranking member Patty Murray (D-WA) still hope to pass bipartisan legislation to pass the Faster Access to Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Act, S. 3611, to allow the IRS to share tax information with the Department of Education with the goal of simplifying the process for applying for federal student aid. The bill has had no action to date, and there is no standalone companion bill pending in the House, so it’s not clear how fast and far the bill could move this session.

From the US Department of Education
Nothing to report this week

From the DOJ
How to file a Fiscal Report when there is no current request for a quarterly reimbursement.
For additional information with screenshots on how to complete a Fiscal Report and an updated G-2 form please visit the Office of School Safety website under the Requesting Round #1 Reimbursements

From the NREA
Disconnected Youth
There’s a problem with our conception of progress in America today. It’s based on money measures and not much else. Measure of America creates metrics to tell us about how people are doing. One fundamental indicator of societal progress and well-being is how young people are faring in their transition to adulthood. And on this measure, 4.6 million young people are falling behind.


Rural Communities Test Ways to Hook Gifted Students by Sarah Sparks

Meet SaberCor, Our New Business Partner
SaberCor works with schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the United States assisting them in lowering costs while maintaining or improving service levels. Our main areas of focus include janitorial supplies (toilet paper, hand soap, paper towels…), janitorial services and waste removal. We utilize our expertise and national pricing to drive down the costs while often allowing you to keep the same vendors that you are currently using.

Through contract/cost management, process driven quality assurance, and a customer focused consultative approach, SaberCor is able to save significant dollars, reduce non-value-added tasking, and optimize outcomes for the organizations we serve. If you would like more information, contact Mark Hilgart at or 262.617.8658

Director Events from Last Week
Nov. 12 – Ed Issues Conference Call
Nov. 13 – Meeting with Wisconsin Partners
Nov 13 – Legislative Hearings
Nov. 13 – Wisconsin Demographics Changes Workshop
Nov. 14 – Meeting with Julie Underwood
Nov. 14 – Study Committee on the Investment and use of school trust funds
Nov. 15 – Meeting with UW-Platteville School of Education

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Nov. 19-20 – Office
Nov. 21-23 – Thanksgiving Break

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
• 2019 WiRSA Conference, Save the Date, October 28-29, Glacier Canyon in Wisconsin Dells.
2019 WiRSA Scholarship Information


Thank you 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