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

Good Morning,
Happy New Year to all. I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday break.

Welcome to WiRSA
Please welcome the UW-Platteville School of Education to the WiRSA Membership.

WiRSA Board Meeting
The WiRSA Board of Directors will meet in Stevens Point at 10:00 am on Tuesday, January 8.

Scholarship Reminder
Please remind your Counselors that the WiRSA Scholarship deadline is February 15.

Girls Who Code Webinar
Chelsey from Girls Who Code has scheduled a webinar for Thursday January 17 at 3:30 PM CST to give you more information about the program and to answer questions.

The webinar typically lasts about 30 minutes. Chelsey will leave about 5-10 minutes at the end of the webinar for questions but depending on volume of questions it sometimes goes a little over on time. I also provide a recording of the webinar and copy of my slide deck that will be sent to participants following the webinar. I will also have the recording and copy as well to pass along to anyone who wasn’t able to attend.

Here is the registration link for folks in your district to sign up. Each individual/participant will need to register separately.

WiRSA is partnering with the Girls Who Code organization, a national non-profit organization leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip girls with computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Girls Who Code Clubs are FREE programs for 3rd-5th and 6th-12th grade girls to join our sisterhood of supportive peers and role models and use computer science to change the world. Clubs can be hosted in schools, universities, libraries, community centers, faith-based organizations, or other nonprofits.

Redefining Ready
WiRSA took part in the recent Wisconsin Redefining Ready Workshop and will be working closely with the CESAs to get the word out on this data driven local report card that can tell a more in-depth story about your schools and students. More information to follow. Here is a link to the national website.

Legislative Update for the Week of January 7
Nothing scheduled for this week.

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF
Status of Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 funding still to be finalized – The 116th Congress will be sworn in tomorrow and will immediately turn to finding a solution to reopen the parts of the government that shut down on December 22 when their temporary funding expired. The grid below shows the status of the 12-fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations bills; five of them – including the one providing education funding – have already been signed into law and provide funding for their programs through the end of fiscal year 2019. The Senate has passed bipartisan versions of four of the remaining seven bills, and the Senate Appropriations Committee approved bipartisan versions of the other three bills, but they did not advance to the Senate floor. The House has approved Republican versions of two of the seven bills, and the House Appropriations Committee approved the other five without advancing them to the floor.

Democratic plan – Incoming House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) announced their plan to bring up two funding bills: an extension of current funding levels for the Homeland Security bill that lasts until February 8, and a measure that includes the Senate’s full-year funding versions of the other six bills. President Trump opposes any proposals that do not include the $5.7 billion for a border wall that the Republican House passed in late December – something not included in the Democratic proposal. Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) has said he will not hold a vote on a proposal that the President will not sign, seemingly dooming Senate approval of this plan.

House Rules package – Speaker-designate Pelosi and incoming House Rules Committee Chair McGovern (D-MA) today released their rules for the 116th Congress (link includes a summary and a section-by-section descriptions). Among other changes, the rules change the name of the Committee on Education and the Workforce back to the Committee on Education and Labor. They allow amendments to appropriations bills on the House floor that add spending without an offsetting cut, as long as the amendment would not cause the bill to exceed its allocation. The rules also require legislative text to be publicly available for 72 hours before a House vote. Some liberal Democrats are publicly opposing one change, which reinstates a modified pay-as-you-go point of order that requires legislation making changes to revenues or mandatory spending to not increase the deficit over specified years. Instead of this “PAYGO” rule, Republicans had a “cut go” rule that required offsets only for mandatory spending increases, not tax cuts (neither rule applies to discretionary spending). The House can – and often does – waive its rules, but there is a separate PAYGO statute that leads to automatic sequestration if the total costs of the mandatory spending and revenue bills enacted during that congressional session are not offset.

POLITICO/Harvard poll shows strong support for federal K-12 education funding – A new poll by POLITICO and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found a strong majority of both Republicans and Democrats list increasing federal spending on public elementary and secondary education as a top priority. A total of 73 percent of respondents listed higher K-12 education funding as “extremely important,” breaking down to 84% of the Democrats polled and 71 percent of Republicans. We will highlight this updated finding in our advocacy efforts.

From the US Department of Education
On December 18, after months of research, visiting successful programs around the nation, and receiving testimony from experts and concerned citizens, the Federal Commission on School Safety released a 177-page final report detailing 93 best practices and policy recommendations for improving safety at schools across the country. Utilizing the information gathered, the report offers a holistic approach to improving school safety, ranging from supporting the social and emotional well-being of students to enhancing physical building security. Acknowledging there can be no one-size-fits-all solution to this complex issue, the report serves as a resource guide for families, educators, law enforcement, health professionals, and elected officials to use as they consider the best ways to help prevent, mitigate, and recover from acts of violence in schools. The recommendations are based on efforts that are already working in states and local communities.

The Commission report has 19 chapters divided into three sections — Prevent, Protect and Mitigate, and Respond and Recover — based on well-established phases of security planning, with recommendations for the federal government and states and local communities in each chapter (press release and fact sheet).

Over 100 stakeholders gathered at the Department last week to collaborate on ways to rethink career and technical education (CTE). The Rethink CTE Summit expanded on Secretary DeVos’ Rethink Education initiative and served as an implementation launch of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, commonly known as Perkins V. The Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Career and Technical Education Scott Stump encouraged those in attendance to take advantage of the new law and collaborate with state and local education agencies on ways to rethink CTE through the development of each state’s Perkins V plan.

To learn more about the summit, see the press release and blog post. Also, the event web page includes biographies of speakers and panelists, a full participant list, and a number of presentations and handouts.

From the DOJ
School Threat Assessment Conference
the Office of School Safety is announcing a School Threat Assessment Conference to be held March 18-19, 2019, at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. There will be no charge for this event. There is a block of hotel rooms available at the state rate of $82.00 per night for Sunday, March 17, and Monday March 18. There are a limited number of seats for this event, so please encourage your partners to register early!

This conference will count toward the Threat Assessment Team Training requirement. All educators, law enforcement and school based behavioral health/social services professionals are encouraged to attend. Please see the attached tentative agenda for more information.

School Violence Threat Assessment Team Training and Adolescence Mental Health Training OpportunitiesLink to dates and locations

From the NREA

How California’s Rural Education Network Is Creating an Online Hub to Better Connect Remote Schools and Empower Teachers to Share Experiences, Strategies & Classroom Materials

From IES
New Report Release on Why Students Didn’t Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Among fall 2009 ninth-graders who graduated from high school, approximately 65 percent of students or their parents reported completing a FAFSA, and 24 percent did not.
Among fall 2009 ninth-graders who graduated from high school and reported, or their parents reported, not completing a FAFSA,

• 33 percent thought they or their family could afford school or college without financial aid;
• 32 percent thought they or their family may be ineligible or may not qualify for financial aid;
• 28 percent did not want to take on debt;
• 23 percent did not have enough information about how to complete a FAFSA;
• 22 percent did not plan to continue education after high school;
• 15 percent did not know they could complete a FAFSA; and
• 9 percent thought the FAFSA forms were too much work or too time-consuming.

To view the full report, please visit.

Director Events from Last Week
December 17 – Stakeholder Meeting on BRC on School Funding report
December 19 – CESA 3 PAC
December 19 – BRC on School Funding Hearing
December 20 – Meeting with Mike Koltes at CESA 5
December 20 – RCN Monthly Conference Call
December 24-Jan 1 – Holiday Break

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
January 7 – Meeting with Midwest Council
January 8 – WiRSA Board Meeting
January 10 – Meeting with UW System

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