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

Good Morning,
I encourage you to nominate colleagues for the WiRSA Rural Awards and submit a proposal for an outstanding program your district provides for the upcoming conference. In this edition, take note of the WiRSA Scholarship winners, the Special Ed Talking points, the final UW Teacher Task Force listening session, and the Einstein Project information. Also, note the JFC hearing dates and the opportunity to submit written testimony. It will be important for the JFC to hear our voice. Finally, be sure to check out the NREAC Federal Legislative Draft.

WiRSA Conference call for proposals now open
The conference planning committee is now accepting proposals to present at the annual conference October 28-29 at the Glacier Canyon Lodge Conference Center. We are looking for presentations that promote the great programs being offered by our rural schools. This year’s theme is around diversity. To submit a proposal, complete the proposal form by June 21.

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. Click here for more information.

2019 WiRSA Scholarship Winners Announced
WiRSA Scholarships                                                                           WiRSA Teacher Scholarships
Lily Wagner – Westfield                                                                         Courtney Vander Galien – Randolph
Payton Zurfluh – Albany                                                                         Isabelle Sander – Cuba City
Hunter Adams – Bruce                                                                           Alyssa Underwood – Colby
Alison Peters – White Lake                                                                    Celeste Teichmiller – Lakeland
Ayden Fleeharty – Kickapoo                                                                   Michaela Acherman – Mineral Point

DPI Special Education Funding Info Graphic and MOE talking points
Attached is a Special Education Info Graphic and MOE talking points prepared by DPI.

UW System Teacher Task Force Listening Sessions
The UW System Task Force for Advancing Teachers and School Leaders in the State of Wisconsin seeks public input and invites the public to attend three listening sessions in April. For more information see attached

The task force will meet on Monday, April 15, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the UW-Eau Claire Davies Center, Centennial Hall 1804.

Einstein Project Opportunity
The Einstein Project is looking to hold a free, 3-day that might support some of the rural schools in the WiRSA network. The purpose of the workshop is to guide schools/districts through an evidence-based process in evaluating or selecting new instructional materials that are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, at the same time building professional growth for educators to implement 3-dimensional learning with students. The offer is free for this summer only. Feel free to share this flyer with others that may be interested. The video does a nice job summarizing the process. Please note they are also looking for regional host sites in central and western Wisconsin – If interested in hosting please contact Kim Lemberger by email.

Legislative Update for the Week of April 15th
Thursday, April 18 Assembly Committee on Education at 10:00, 417 North
AB 129 – Relating to: Allowing private schools participating in a parental choice program to provide hours of direct pupil instruction virtually.

AB 110 – Relating to: Developing a guidebook related to dyslexia and related conditions. By Joint Legislative Council.

Dates for last two JFC Public Hearings
Make your voice heard at a hearing near you or submit written testimony or do both.

Monday, April 15, 2019 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) * University of Wisconsin–River Falls, University Center – Riverview Ballroom #260, 500 Wild Rose Avenue, River Falls, WI 54022. Free Public Parking Accessible at: PAY 1 LOT, North Second Street, River Falls, WI 54022

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) * University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, University Union – Phoenix Rooms, 2430 Campus Court, Green Bay, WI 54311

To submit written testimony, use this dedicated email address, or email the JFC chairs Rep. Nygren and Senator Darling. Listing of all members.

Legislative Fiscal Bureau Memo on the impact budget language on Special Ed Funding
At the request of Senator Erpenbach the LFB last week released the following memo on the impact of Governor Evers budget proposal to raise Special Ed. Funding to 30% in year one of the budget and 60% in year two. See Memo.

Wisconsin Policy Forum Budget Brief and Full Report

Links to 2019-20 Biennial Budget
Here are links to the Biennial Budget – The first one takes you directly to the education part of the budget the second takes you to the budget brief and the third is the budget menu page.

National Level Legislative Update From NREAC/CEF
Attached please find a draft of 2019 NREAC Legislative Agenda to be voted on in May. Also attached is an electronic copy of the NREAC one-pager on the Medicaid proposal.

House Rules Committee advances bill to raise discretionary caps – Last night the House Rules Committee held a hearing on H.R. 2021, the Investing for the People Act, allowing three amendments to be considered on the floor. The bill provides significant increases in both the defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending caps for fiscal year (FY) 2020 and 2021. Absent an increase in the spending cap, NDD will be cut by $54 billion (9 percent) in FY 2020. The amendments are:

Rep. Jayapal (D-WA) and others – the amendment raised the NDD cap for each year so that it is equal to the defense discretionary cap. Up until now, parity between defense and NDD has been measured by whether the caps of both categories are increased equally over the existing caps, not whether the totals are equal to each other since they started off at different levels. This amendment is not likely to pass.

Reps. Foxx (NC) and Woodall (GA) – the amendment could cut off mandatory spending from defense, public health (this includes Medicaid), Medicare, Social Security, veterans benefits, and all income security programs (this includes SNAP) if the costs increase beyond what was forecast. This amendment is not likely to pass.

Rep. Lee (D-CA) and others the amendment allows the NDD cap to be adjusted upward by $10 billion in FY 2020 and by $12 billion in FY 2021 to cover the costs of the VA MISSION Act, a veterans health care bill that had previously been supported by mandatory funding. This amendment would mean these new costs do not have to come out of the NDD funding under the cap, freeing up that amount of money for other NDD programs.

CEF supports the billCEF this morning sent a letter to all House members expressing our support for the bill and any additional adjustments to the NDD cap, such as those in Rep. Lee’s amendment. The bill increases NDD funding by 5.7 percent for FY 2020, providing a good opportunity for Congress to enact much-needed increases in education programs. Leadership is still whipping Democrats to measure support and will bring the bill to the floor tomorrow if there is sufficient support.

Ways to show your support for the bill

NDD United seeking signers for its statement of support – NDD United issued a statement in support of the bill last week and is encouraging all national, state, and local organizations to add their names to the list of endorsers of the bill by filling out the form here. The list will be shared with Congressional leaders. This statement is in addition to the community letter that NDD United sent to Congress last week, which urged Congress to raise the NDD caps but was sent in advance of the introduction of this specific bill. We encourage CEF members to endorse the statement.
Please note, WiRSA has signed on in support.

From US Department of Education
Recent announcements from the U.S. Department of Education are below. Scroll down or click on the links to find more information in this document. Please share with members, colleagues and contacts.

· U.S. Department of Education Delivers on Key School Safety Report Recommendation
· From the REAP team: RE-SCHEDULED: FY 2019 SRSA Application Webinar
· Prepared Remarks by Secretary DeVos at Butler Tech’s Manufacturing Recognition & Signing Day
· From ONDCP: School Resource Guide for Staff

Innovation & Modernization (CTE) grant program opens on Monday. Pdf            FR NIA

From the DOJ
School Threat Assessment Protocol
Attorney General Josh Kaul and the Office of School Safety recently announced the release of the Wisconsin School Threat Assessment Protocol and Wisconsin Comprehensive School Security Framework, providing educators and partners a comprehensive set of policies that support school safety efforts.

“The Comprehensive School Security Framework and the Wisconsin School Threat Assessment Protocol can assist teachers, administrators, and others who are working to make our schools safer,” said Attorney General Kaul. “We hope that schools across the state will use these resources.”

From the NREA
The NREA has extended its deadline for National Conference proposal submission. To submit a proposal, use this link.

Leveraging Legitimate EE Flexibilities to Grow More Impact on Teaching and Learning Webinar
AWSA invites you to join our upcoming webinar regarding Leveraging Legitimate EE Flexibilities to Grow More Impact on Teaching and Learning, the basis for an AWSA Update article by Joe Schroeder that we shared earlier this month. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, April 23 at 1:00 pm.

In the webinar, we will discuss current themes of EE implementation that we are learning from the field, discuss legitimate flexibilities at your disposal to increase local EE impact, and highlight fruitful practices by a number of our school- and district-level colleagues in EE that can be examples for you to consider as well. We are also pleased to share that both Katie Rainey of DPI and Cathy Clarksen of CESA 6 will be our webinar guests, so you can trust that you are hearing answers to your questions from the people in charge of leading these efforts for our state.

You will be able to access the webinar by registering at this link.

We hope that you will be able to join us live for the webinar. But if you are not available to do so or might need to step away at some point, please know that we will be recording and posting the webinar online within 24 hours of the event.

Finally, if you have not yet reviewed the EE article and participated in our related two-minute survey, please do soon, as we will be sharing EE survey themes from our members as a key part of this webinar, too.

From IES and REL
REL Webinar: Statewide Support for Individual Learning Plans
Join REL Southwest for a free webinar on individualized learning plans and how they support college and career readiness.

April 30, 2019
3:00–4:15 p.m. CT
Register here

Director Events from Last Week
April 8 – Weekly Stakeholder Conference Call
April 9 – Wisconsin Early Childhood Association Symposium and meeting
April 10 – JFC in Oak Creek
April 11 – UW System Teacher Taskforce Teleconference
April 11 – Meeting with WAES
April 11 – UW System Teacher Task Force listening session at UW Green Bay

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
April 15 – JFC in River Falls
April 15 – Weekly Stakeholder Conference Call
April15 – UW System Teacher Task Force listening session at UW Eau Claire
April 16 – WiRSA Board Meeting
April 17 – HealthTide Schools Team Meeting
April 17 – UW System Teacher Taskforce Teleconference
April 18 – UW System Teacher Taskforce Working Meeting
April 18 – Stakeholders State Budget Meeting

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
• Save the Date: 2019 WiRSA Conference, 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