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

Good Morning,
A big thanks to all of you that reached out to your legislators and JFC members prior to last week’s JFC meeting. It was sad to see how talks ended; it is still important to let our voices be heard. Keep advocating for what is right for our public-school students as we move forward, now is not the time to be silent. Advocacy like this op-ed from Jill Underly are key.

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. (See attached flyer to post.)    

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.

WiRSA Conference Vendor Booth and Sponsorship Registration is Open
Information for securing one of the 26 vendor booths for the 2019 WiRSA Conference is now available. Please see attached flyer for more details. Priority will be given to our Business Partners, formerly known as Associate Members, then vendors from last year, followed by new requests.

We will be using a new registration process this year, so please read all information carefully.
Vendor/Sponsor Registration Form.

Legislative Update for the Week of May 28
May 28 at 2:00, 412 East – Joint Finance Committee will hold an Executive Session on District Attorneys, Public Defender, Circuit Courts, University of Wisconsin System, Natural Resources – Department wide and Natural Resources — Environmental Quality.
May 30 at 11:00, 417 North – Assembly Committee on Education
Executive Session on AB 110 – Relating to: developing a guidebook related to dyslexia and related conditions.

Followed by a Public Hearing on:
AB 84 – Relating to: imposing requirements related to school lunch and breakfast programs in certain schools.
AB 194 – Relating to: requirements for initial licensure as a special education teacher.
AB 195 – Relating to: a license to teach based on reciprocity and granting rule-making authority

National Level Legislative Update From NREAC/CEF
Policy Intelligence and Education News

Negotiations on discretionary caps started and stopped – On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell briefly provided an optimistic note that there would be quick agreement on increased discretionary spending caps after a morning meeting between Administration and Congressional leaders. Alas, that hope faded when the afternoon meeting ended without a deal and given the deterioration in the relationship between the President and House Democrats on Wednesday, I don’t see a budget deal happening any time soon.

House Appropriations action and comparisons (links to bill text and Committee reports included) – In the meantime, House appropriators are continuing to consider fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills, releasing the Agriculture and Transportation-HUD bills yesterday. Only two bills haven’t been released: Financial Services and Homeland Security.

For FY 2020, the House is increasing NDD by $34 billion over the FY 2019 level. The biggest NDD increase – one third of the total – is for the Labor-HHS-Education bill, with a sizable increase also for veterans’ health care. Three technical items of note:

Legislative Branch – The decrease in the Legislative Branch bill is because, following past practice, the House bill does not include funding for the Senate items.

Labor-HHS-Education – There is an additional $1.8 billion in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill for program integrity efforts that is not counted under the discretionary caps.

Defense – There is such a tiny amount of NDD funding in the defense bill that a $15 million increase is a large percentage increase.

Get your CEF Budget Book and 2019 Directory – If you haven’t already done so, feel free to come to the CEF office to pick up a copy of the CEF’s FY 2020 budget book and the 2019 CEF Directory. We are at 1800 M St, NW, Suite 500 South in DC. If you let me know when you are coming, we can have your name at the security desk. We are mailing copies to the CEF members who are beyond the DMV area. If you want electronic access to the books, both are on the members-only area of the CEF website (

From US Department of Education
No update this week.

From the DOJ
Required School Submissions 2017 Wisconsin Act 143 requires public and private schools to submit required information to the Office of School Safety. Please note that this requirement is independent of school safety grant funding. While grant applicants may have provided some of this information, the statutory requirements in Act 143 apply to all schools, regardless of whether the school applied for grant funds. If you have any questions regarding the requirements of 2017 Act 143 please email

From the NREA
Many rural Americans face difficult economic circumstances. But three quarters of respondents in a new poll remain optimistic about the future. For people who know rural America, that’s not necessarily a surprise. Article Link

Can the political divide be mended by bringing rural and urban students together?    Article

The Higher Education Desert
Research shows that the farther someone lives from a public college, the less likely they are to pursue a degree.    Article

To Improve Health Equity, Rural America Must Be Part of the Frame     Article

Can pay raises help rural Texas districts like Buffalo retain teachers?
Starting teacher pay in Buffalo is thousands below the state average, and it’s hard to attract people from outside the small town. The district’s superintendent hopes school finance reform will help.   Article

From IES
New Report on the Condition of Education in the United States
The National Center for Education Statistics released The Condition of Education 2019 today (May 22), a congressionally mandated report that summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. This year’s report includes special findings from recent surveys of outcomes in postsecondary education. To browse the full report, please visit.

To download the full report as a PDF file, please visit.

Director Events from Last Week
May 20 – UW System teachers Task Force Meeting
May 20 – Weekly Stakeholder conference call
May 20 – Ed-Build State Advocate conference call
May 21 – Meeting with UWP
May 23 – Meeting with UW NETWORK and DPI
May 23 – JFC Executive Session on education budget

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
May 28 – Job Fair planning
May 30 – UW Teacher Education Center Advisory Board
May 30 – Assembly Education Hearing

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
• Save the Date: 2019 WiRSA Conference, Diversity in Rural Schools, 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