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

Good Morning,
In this edition – Recognize staff and community members by nominating them for a WiRSA Rural Award. Check out the School DataTool from the Wis. Policy Forum. Watch for Biennial Budget Information coming out on the 28th. Check out the SRSA Grant and the NREA Essay Contest for students.

WiRSA Rural Awards – New Category added for Principals
WiRSA is now taking applications for the 2019 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 13. More information on our website.

Stratford offering DOJ Threat Assessment Training
The Stratford School District is hosting a DOJ approved Threat Assessment Training on Monday, August 19. This training will satisfy the requirements for the Departments second safety grant. If anyone is interested, please contact Superintendent Scott Winch at 715-687-3130 or

New from the Wisconsin Policy Forum – New Research: School DataTool
The new online School DataTool provides data on key education metrics for school districts throughout Wisconsin. The DataTool also has a feature that allows users to easily compare peer districts on these metrics, which range from enrollment and school spending to graduation rates and student performance. Check out the School DataTool here.

Legislative Update for the Week of February 25
Feb. 28 – Joint Legislative Audit Committee at 11:00 am, 411 South – The committee will look at Auditing and audits of the following programs – Wisconsin Fast Forward, School Safety Grants and Plans, Group insurance Programs and Forestry Account.

Sneak Peek at Governor Evers’ Budget Proposal for Higher Education
Evers seeks to freeze enrollment in private voucher schools, suspend charter school expansion
… “I’ve said all along that addressing the pressing issues facing our state starts with education,” Evers said in a statement Sunday. “We have to fully fund our public schools, and we have to make sure voucher schools are accountable and transparent, not just for kids and parents, but for Wisconsin taxpayers, too.” … Aides estimate the move would produce $3 million in cost savings. … an attempt to reduce property taxes and stabilize what the Democratic governor sees as two parallel systems of education in Wisconsin. Molly Beck –MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF
CEF (Committee for Educational Funding) released the 2019 Federal Budget Book

NREAC Update
No update currently.

From US Department of Education
2019 Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) Grant Application
The FY 2019 Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) grant application is now open in To access the application package, click this link. SRSA-eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) have until April 26, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time to submit an SRSA application.

RETHINKING CTE In a video message, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education Scott Stump thanked stakeholders for their thoughtful and thorough comments submitted regarding the Department’s draft Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) state plan guide during the 60-day public comment period from October 24 to December 24, 2018. He also announced the agency’s response to comments, along with the revised state plan guide. The public has another 30-day window (through March 11) to comment on the revised guide (all documents).

Also, in celebration of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, the Department featured relevant posts on its Homeroom blog: “5 Ways Agricultural Education and FFA Shape Students’ Futures” and “How I Found My Passion Through CTE.”

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a new report detailing the educational progress and challenges students face by race and ethnicity. The report presents 36 indicators on topics ranging from preschool through postsecondary education, as well as labor force outcomes. In addition, the report features two new spotlights on the characteristics of public school teachers by race/ethnicity and the characteristics of postsecondary institutions serving specific minority groups.

Broadband Last week, the Administration issued its “American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report,” outlining a vision for how the federal government can increase broadband access and actions that agencies are taking to increase private sector investment in broadband.

From the DOJ
Upcoming Training
Register for any of our statewide training events here.

From the NREA
NREA Foundation Essay Contest:
The annual NREA Foundation Essay Contest allows contestants to participate in three divisions: elementary, middle/junior high, and high school. Grades 3-8 may participate in a written essay contest using the provided prompt and rubric. Grades 9-12 may participate in a video essay contest using the provided prompt and rubric. The winner in the elementary division receives $250. The runner-up will receive $100. The winners in the middle/junior high and high school divisions receive $400. The runners-up receive a $200 prize.         Guidelines and Submission Information

USDA launches toolkit to help rural communities get broadband service
The e-Connectivity toolkit includes a list of 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment, allowing customers to see which ones are the best fit. The programs are organized by the type of customer (e.g., farmers, for-profit businesses, non-profits and government entities) and by what each program offers (such as technical assistance, training and workforce development, agriculture technology research, and permit reimbursement).

The toolkit also includes a user guide and examples of how some rural communities are using e-Connectivity resources to increase broadband services.

Articles of Interest
Has the Tide Turned Against Vouchers?

Rural Districts Fight to Keep Teachers

Paying Teachers What They’re Worth
CIEB’s Empowered Educators study found that in five countries with high student performance on PISA (Canada, Australia, China, Singapore and Finland) teacher salaries were between about 90 and 105 percent of the average received by college graduates across professions. By contrast, U.S. teachers earned, on average, about 60 percent of what other college graduates earned. How can we expect to recruit a world-class teaching force if we aren’t willing to pay for it? Read more in the policy brief “Recruiting and Selecting Excellent Teachers” from the Empowered Educators study.

Director Events from Last Week
February 18 – Meeting with Katie McCabe
February 18 – Stakeholder Conference Call
February 18 – Meeting with Education Academy Planning Committee
February 19 – WiRSA Conference Planning Committee Meeting
February 21 – FAST Institute
February 21 – Assembly Education Hearing
February 21 – NREAC Meeting

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
February 25 – Stakeholder Conference Call
February 25 – UW System Teacher Education Task Force
February 26 – RCN Monthly Meeting
February 28 – Roll out of the Biennial Budget
March 1 – CESA 8 PAC

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


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