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

Good Morning,
In this addition please review the first five important reminders and updates. Also, be sure to check out the NREA/CEF Legislative update and the NREA articles.

Scholarship Reminder
Please remind your counselors that the WiRSA Scholarship deadline is February 15.
Please note that schools can nominate one student for the regular scholarship and one student for the teacher education scholarship. Schools must be in good membership standing to be eligible.

Star Student Program
Do you know a student deserving special recognition? The Governor and the Department of Public Instruction aims to recognize Wisconsin kids who take great strides in their everyday classroom activities.

Please share this site for the new Star Student Program and encourage everyone to spread the word regarding this program. It will run throughout the year. Teachers can make recommendations at any time.

Help Us Build A National Effort to Recruit and Retain Talent in Our Rural Schools and Communities – Gather Around A Survey of Rural Schools and Communities
Are you a rural teacher? Do you live or work in a rural community? If so, the NREA and WiRSA need your help to address the growing challenge of teacher shortages in our rural communities. Visit to learn more and take the survey. #ruraled
2019 Educators Rising Summit – March 20
The Educators Rising planning committee is excited to announce the date for the 2019 Competition and Summit.

Teach-a-Palooza
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
9:15am-2:15pm — Check-in begins at 8:45am
UW Oshkosh Reeve Memorial Union
COST: $15.00 per person. Lunch included.

Attached is a flyer outlining the keynote speaker, breakout sessions, and competition topics, as well as the registration form which is due February 22. We encourage you to share this information with your students, colleagues and partner school districts.

Asthma Walkthrough Program
Approximately 100,000 children in Wisconsin are affected by asthma. Research has shown that exposure to indoor air pollutants, such as dust and dust mites, strong odors, mold, pests and allergens, can all potentially worsen asthma symptoms. These symptoms can be reduced by modifying the indoor environment. The goal of the Wisconsin Asthma Coalition (WAC) school/child care walkthrough program is to decrease asthma symptoms in children by reducing exposure to environmental asthma triggers found within the child care setting. This program provides asthma education resources, identifies triggers within school and child care settings that may worsen asthma, provides low- or no-cost recommendations to eliminate or reduce asthma triggers, and increases staff knowledge on preventing and managing asthma. Addressing asthma triggers reduces absenteeism, while creating an improved learning environment for kids and staff. The program is available at no cost to schools and child care centers statewide and is completely nonpunitive. For more information and to schedule a walkthrough, please contact Brittany Farrell (414-337-4570; bfarrell@chw.org) at the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin.

Legislative Update for the Week of February 4
No hearings are scheduled for this week.

National Level Legislative Update From NREA/CEF
Administration budget itemsThe President’s State of the Union speech has been rescheduled for Tuesday evening (February 5), and it will likely include some broad budget themes, if not details. We know that non-defense agencies were instructed to submit fiscal year (FY) 2020 budgets that were cut by at least 5% (of course, many agencies don’t yet know their FY 2019 budget). As a reminder, the Administration’s previous two budget requests cut the Department of Education funding by about 11%. The Administration has not yet announced a new date to release its budget, which had been expected on February 4 but will be delayed due to the 35-day shutdown that included the Office of Management and Budget and the budget offices of the shuttered agencies. We expect the budget to be released no sooner than mid-March, and expect deep cuts for education programs.

House Education and Labor Committee open for action – The House Education and Labor Committee officially started its work yesterday, including announcing subcommittee chairs and ranking members.

o Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education – Chair: Del. Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands), Ranking Member: Rep. Rick Allen (GA)
o Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment – Chair: Rep. Susan Davis (CA), Ranking Member: Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA)
o Subcommittee on Workforce Protections – Chair: Rep. Alma Adams (NC), Ranking Member: Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL)
o Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions – Chair: Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL), Ranking Member: Rep. Tim Walberg (MI)
o Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services – Chair: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR), Ranking Member: Rep. James Comer (KY)

The committee also announced the topics for its first four hearings, one of which is investing in America’s public schools.

School infrastructure bill – Politico reports that today Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) will announce a new iteration of last Congress’s “Rebuild America’s Schools Act.” The legislation would support investing $100 billion over ten years in school infrastructure, including digital access. With a few exceptions, the federal government currently does not fund school construction and modernization. In addition to improving school infrastructure, this proposal also would create 1.9 million jobs.

From the DOJ
School Threat Assessment Conference/ Second Date Added
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 and April 1-2 at UW-River Falls. There will be no charge for this event. There is a block of hotel rooms available at the state rate of $82 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.

From the NREA
Investing in America’s Economic and National Security
SPEAK YOUR PIECE: COASTAL DONOR DEMOCRATS NEED TO WAKE UP ABOUT RURAL VOTERS
SCHOOLS, LIBRARIES ARE OBVIOUS SETTING FOR TELEHEALTH
RURAL LENDER CONVERTS ITS CLIENTS’ NEEDS INTO SERVICE OPPORTUNITY

From IES
Digest of Education Statistics 2017 provides new and historical data on all aspects of education. To view the full report visit.

REL Webinar: Preparing High School Students for College-level Math Join REL Northeast & Islands for a free webinar that will present research on efforts to reduce rates of student placement in college remedial mathematics.
Title: Setting Up for Success: Preparing High School Students for College-level Math
Date: February 14, 2019
Time: 3:30–4:30 p.m. ET
Register here

Director Events from Last Week
January 28-Feb 1 – WiRSA Office closed

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
February 4 – Ed Issues Conference Call
February 4 – An agenda for higher education reform: Webinar
February 6 – RERIC Meeting and Symposium
February 8 – CESA 9 PAC

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