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

Good Morning,

A quick reminder that WiRSA and WREA have teamed up to help you with another resource to fill those hard to fill partial positions. Also, Conference registration is open and nominations for our Rural Awards are being accepted.

WiRSA “Diversity in Rural Schools” Conference Registration is Open

The 2019 WiRSA Conference will be held again this year at the Glacier Canyon Lodge Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells October 28-29.  Register here.   More details here..

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 / Sponsorship Registration is Open (Booths are filling fast)

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.

WiRSA – WREA Job Connection Reminder

WREA and WiRSA have joined forces to connect school districts with hard to fill partial positions and long-term substitute positions with retired educators looking to get back into the workforce part time to share their knowledge and love of education with the students of rural Wisconsin.  website

District Administrators and or HR personnel can complete the form below to post a partial position or long-term substitute position for posting on the WREA website. There is no cost for the posting, this is a service of WREA and WiRSA.

Please send or email completed form to Diane Wilcenski, WREA Executive Director, 6405 Century Avenue, Middleton, WI  53562 or email Diane at    WREA and WiRSA Job Connection Fillable Form

Legislative Update for the Week of July 1
No hearings scheduled this week on education.

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

  • Memo summarizing presidential candidates’ education funding plans – We thought you might find useful the attached memo that summarizes key aspects of the presidential candidates’ past records and future plans for education funding.  It was prepared earlier this month by staff at the American Continental Group based on publicly available material.  It does not include former Rep. Joe Sestak, who just joined the race this week!
  • House passes 10thFY 2020 appropriations bill – Last week the House passed a five-bill package of fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations bills and then a stand-alone Financial Services appropriations bill and has now passed 10 of the 12 government funding bills.  The second “minibus” package contains the FY 2020 appropriations bills for Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior and Environment, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD.  The Legislative Branch funding bill and the Homeland Security bill await consideration when Congress returns after the Independence Day recess, but both have policy disputes that need to be resolved.  The table below shows the dates the House passed each bill and has links to the legislative text and the Appropriations Committee Report that explains the funding.
FY 2020 Appropriations Bill Status      
  Bill released (links to bill text) Cmte markup (links to Cmte Report) Floor passage
Agriculture 22-May 4-Jun 25-Jun
Commerce,Justice,Science 16-May 22-May 25-Jun
Defense 14-May 21-May 19-Jun
Energy and Water 14-May 21-May 19-Jun
Financial Services 31-May 11-Jun 26-Jun
Homeland Security 4-Jun 11-Jun  
Interior and Environment 14-May 22-May 25-Jun
Labor, HHS, Education 29-Apr 8-May 19-Jun
Legislative Branch (excl Senate) 30-Apr 9-May  
Military Construction, VA 30-Apr 9-May 25-Jun
State, Foreign Operations 9-May 16-May 19-Jun
Transportation, HUD 22-May 4-Jun 25-Jun
  • FY 2019 Emergency Assistance Funding – Last week the House and the Senate passed different emergency supplemental funding bills to provide humanitarian assistance at the southern border. The House plans to amend the bill that the Senate passed overwhelming yesterday, adding some additional protections for migrants.  The goal is to send final legislation to the President this week, before the House and Senate recess next week.

From US Department of Education
OSEP Update
The June OSEP Update features new funding opportunities, resources related to dispute resolution, an Ask & Answer on Phonics, a Dose of Data, a final call to register for the 2019 OSEP Leadership Conference, and more!

Early Learning Newsletter
The June Early Learning Newsletter features promoting success for pre-K through third grade English learners, Ready To Learn Television, a webinar on developing math skills with infants and toddlers, new funding opportunities, and more!

ESSA Update
Last week, the Secretary released final non-regulatory guidance to support school districts’ compliance with the requirement — under Title I, Section 1118 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) — that federal funds supplement and do not supplant state and local funds.  While important and well-intentioned, the supplement not supplant requirement had become restrictive and burdensome, to the point that some districts made ineffective spending choices to avoid non-compliance.

The guidance explains how ESSA modified the requirement to reduce administrative burden, simplify compliance, and promote effective spending.  To comply with the new requirement, a district need only show that its methodology to allocate state and local resources to schools does not consider a school’s Title I status.  For many, the requirement can be met using the district’s current methodology for allocating state and local resources (press release).

The release of final guidance follows a 30-day public comment period, during which individuals and organizations submitted largely positive feedback about the draft guidance.

From the DOJ
No update this week

From the NREA
Rural Teacher Survey Results: We are honored that so many members of rural communities across the country took the time to share insights, stories, and experiences from their places. While our review of these responses is still underway, we did want to provide an initial glimpse of the results, both in the form of broad highlights, as well as a breakout of results by state.

 Many thanks to the folks at NREA for conducting this analysis and developing the findings you will see in this document.

 The 111th Rural Research and Conference Symposium hosted by NREA & BFK.
The #RuralEdForum brings together rural #edleaders from across the country to advance #21stcenturylearning. Join our community of bold, courageous educators on Oct. 24–26 in Louisville, KY! Register today to save.

From IES
New REL Report Examines Technology Use in Instruction and Teacher Perceptions of School Support for Technology Use in Iowa High Schools
A recent study from REL Midwest evaluates the extent to which rural Iowa teachers use technology and how they perceive school support for technology use in instruction. In particular, the study looks to determine the extent to which teachers have integrated technology to develop the 21st century skills emphasized by the Iowa Core Standards: collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.  Read the report.

Director Events from Last Week
June 24 – Weekly Stakeholder Meeting

June 25 – Interview on WPR Morning Show

June 25 – Interview with the Badger Herald

June 25 – Monthly RCN Meeting

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
July 1 – Weekly Stakeholder Meeting

July 2 – Monthly NREAC Conference call

July 4-5 – WiRSA Office closed

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