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

Good Morning,
It appears the JFC will be wrapping up their work in the next couple of weeks and the Senate and Assembly will debate and vote on the budget in the last week of June. This is the perfect time to continue to share your stories and keep the pressure on the legislators to rethink their priorities. Get your stories to your legislators, like this great attached story from Ben Niehaus to legislators in Florence and this one from La Crosse.

2019-20 WiRSA Membership Renewal
Members, please watch you email over the next week for your 2019-20 WiRSA Membership invoice. Dues are the same as last year and are due by September 1. Thank you for your continued support.

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 June 3
Nothing scheduled at the time of this Update

National Level Legislative Update From NREAC/CEF
No update this week

From US Department of Education
Last week, Secretary DeVos announced major improvements to the College Scorecard, a tool launched by the Department to help students and families make informed decisions about education options after high school. This tool features the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for key metrics, such as average annual cost, graduation rate, and student demographics.

For the first time, the scorecard now has information on some 2,100 non-degree granting institutions — those that only award certificates. Adding such institutions into the tool gives students and their advocates a more complete sense of all postsecondary options. Previously, the tool featured profiles of approximately 3,700 degree-granting institutions.

The scorecard also presents graduation rates for non-first time and non-full-time students and the percentage of students who transferred or were still enrolled in school. Previously, the tool only presented graduation rates for first-time, full-time students, which are not representative of all students at many institutions.

Furthermore, responding to President Trump’s March 2019 Executive Order, the scorecard now provides preliminary loan debt data by field of study. Previously, the tool only provided loan debt information at the institution level, even though the amount borrowed to attend school can vary substantially depending on the specific program. Institutions are in the process of revising historical enrollment data from which these loan debt metrics are derived, and adjustments will be reflected in a subsequent release of loan debt data this fall.

Also last week, the Secretary announced the launch of her first new higher education experiment and invited participants to join another experiment already underway. The Experimental Sites Initiative is a limited waiver authority under the Higher Education Act (HEA) to evaluate new policy ideas for potential broader applicability. Under the initiative, the Secretary has authority to grant waivers of certain federal student aid program statutory or regulatory requirements, allowing a limited number of institutions to test alternative methods of administering federal student aid programs.

The new Federal-Work Study (FWS) Experiment will test the effectiveness of engaging more students in private sector employment, increasing the number of high-quality work-based learning opportunities available to students and providing greater flexibility in the number of hours a student may work. It will also measure the effectiveness of improving student retention and completion, increasing student work-readiness, and improving post-graduate employment opportunities.

Under the current FWS program, nearly 92% of all funds are spent to support students in on-campus employment, while just over 8% support students working for non-profit organizations. Less than 1%, or only $726,000 of the billion-dollar FWS program, supports students in private sector employment, where many students are likely to seek permanent employment.

The FWS experiment will eliminate many barriers that made engagement with private sector employers undesirable for many colleges and universities. An institution will no longer be limited in the amount of FWS funding it can allocate to private sector employers. The experiment will also study the impact of paying students engaged in required externships, clinical rotations, or student teaching on factors such as completion, student satisfaction, and reduced borrowing. Moreover, it will reduce the wage share for certain private sector employers — including small businesses — to equal that of non-profit employers.

From the DOJ
No update this week

From the NREA
The Condition of Education is a congressionally mandated annual report from the National Center for Education Statistics. The report contains key indicators on the condition of education in the United States at all levels, from pre-kindergarten through postsecondary, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparisons. The indicators summarize important developments and trends using the latest statistics, which are updated throughout the year as new data become available. In addition, the report’s Spotlight indicators provide more in-depth analyses on selected topics.

Rethinking Leadership Development for the 2019-2020 School Year
Tuesday, June 11, 2019 – 3:00 PM ET
This 40-minute webinar focuses on a fresh look at leadership development in rural and remote schools. Many administrators are committed to growing the leadership talent in their schools. What is not always clear is how to do this. What leadership skills and mindsets are needed in a first leadership role? And how do senior leaders need to lead differently to have a school wide impact?

To register for this webinar, send your name, school name, and note NREA in the subject line of your email to or Upon receipt of your email, your registration will be confirmed and will be sent access information for the webinar via zoom. You may access the webinar via this link. You may also dial in to the webinar using the following number and meeting id: +1 646 876 923 Meeting ID: 168 772 998

From REL Midwest
What happens when high schoolers are given school options?
Each spring, high school graduates don caps and gowns to celebrate as they set out to make their way in the world. But how well have the different types of schools they attended prepared them? With school choice on the rise, we’re examining this question in a new study in Indiana.
Read more

Focusing on retention to build an effective and stable teaching workforce
Teacher shortages are a growing challenge for states across the nation. In Michigan, our Midwest Alliance to Improve Teacher Preparation is rolling out a slate of new projects to help the state strengthen teacher retention, with a focus on the early years in the profession.
Read more

Director Events from Last Week
May 28 – Job Fair planning
May 30 – UW Teacher Education Center Advisory Board
May 30 – Assembly Education Hearing

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
June 3 – DOJ School Safety Advisory Meeting
June 3 – Weekly Stakeholder conference Call
June 4 – Meeting with Business Partner

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