Thank you to our Sponsors! CESA 10 Facilities Management Services, CESA Foundation, Ehlers, Forecast5, Jostens, M3 Insurance, National Insurance Services, Nexus Solutions, PMA, Siemens, UW Colleges Online, UW-Oshkosh, WEA Members Benefits, Wisconsin Digital Learning Collaborative and Wisconsin Farmers Union

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

Good Afternoon,
Please review the Teacher Protection Bill that will be in hearing on Jan. 11, along with the revenue limit adjustment bill for CTE/Workforce Development on Jan. 10. Also, please review the News Release for Governor Walker on Sparsity Aid and Low Revenue Legislation.

Legislative Update for the Week of January 8 – Revenue Limit Adjustment and Teacher Protection Bills
Governor Walker Announces Support for Sparsity Aid and Low Revenue Legislation

Assembly Bill 729: Relating to revenue limit adjustment for certain school district workforce development improvements.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 10:00 am in 400 Northeast
The Assembly Committee on Local Government will hold a public hearing.
Representatives Kulp, Quinn, E. Brooks, Tranel, Ballweg, Bernier, Felzkowski, Edming, Krug, Mursau, Nerison, Novak, Petryk, Pronschinske, Ripp, Spiros, Summerfield, Swearingen, Tauchen, Tusler and Milroy; cosponsored by Senator Testin.

WiRSA will be submitting testimony in favor of AB 729 in support of members that have helped bring this bill forward. If you have concerns with this stance or have other concerns to support this, please notify me by 3:00 pm on Tuesday Jan. 9.

Assembly Bill 693: Relating to: rights of and protections for teachers.
Thursday, January 11, 2018, 9:00 am in the North Hearing Room (2nd Floor North)
The Assembly Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing.
Representatives Thiesfeldt, Kremer, Quinn, Weatherston, Sanfelippo, Jacque, Kuglitsch, Duchow, Skowronski, Horlacher, Allen, Tusler, Brandtjen, Petersen, Schraa and Wichgers. The Chairman reserves the right to limit testimony.

WiRSA plans to testify in opposition to AB 693. Reasons include: the reporting mandates/timelines (especially in rural areas), loss of local control and appropriate chain of actions, along with uncertainty of the legality of some of the items regarding the protection of individual rights especially students with disabilities. Finally, we see weakness in the language that could allow for manipulation and legal challenges. If you have concerns with this stance or have other concerns to support this, please notify me by 3:00 pm on Tuesday Jan. 9.

WiRSA Board Meeting
The WiRSA Board will meet on January 10 at 10:00 AM at the Amber Grill in the Holiday Inn, Stevens Point. The main topics on the agenda are the election of new Executive Committee members, review the membership survey and post conference surveys.

Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships – Please remind your counselors to check out the WiRSA website for the WiRSA scholarships, including the new education scholarships.
Applications are due by close of business on Thursday, February 15.

Summer Science Camp 2018 Recruitment
The Morgridge Institute for Research has announced its 2018 dates for the Summer Science Camps for rural schools. This is a great opportunity to send a group of five students and one teacher from your school to this outstanding four-day event.

WiRSA has a great working relationship with the Camps and I encourage you to take a closer look at the attached information and send a team.

Public Hearings Announced for Educator Licensing
The Department of Public Instruction will conduct five hearings in January to accept public testimony on proposed changes to educator licensing rules (PI 34). In addition to the hearings, a public comment period is open until Jan. 31 with written comments on the proposed permanent rules given the same consideration as public testimony. The hearing dates, times, and locations are as follows:
January 16, 4 to 6 p.m. — St. Norbert College, Mulva Library, Room 101, 400 Third Street, De Pere;
January 17, 2:30 to 4 p.m. — DPI Headquarters, GEF 3, Room P41, 125 South Webster Street, Madison;
January 19, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. — Milwaukee Public Schools, Auditorium, 5225 West Vliet Street, Milwaukee;
January 25, 3 to 5 p.m. — CESA 10, Conference Center, 725 West Park Avenue, Chippewa Falls; and
January 29, 4 to 6 p.m. — University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Centennial Hall, 3212 Centennial Hall, La Crosse.

*Please note that if you can not attend one of the meetings yours written comments are considered the same as being present.

Webinar on Early College Credit Program
AWSA will be hosting a webinar on the Early College Credit Program that was enacted as part of the 2017-19 State Budget. The webinar will take place at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, January 10.

You will be able to access the webinar on Jan. 10 by registering at this link.

The webinar will be hosted by Tahira Chaudary, Education Consultant from the Department of Public Instruction. We hope that you will be able to join us live for the webinar but if you are not available at this time or 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.

From the NREA
New Coalition Aims to Eliminate the Digital Divide in Rural America -Innovators & rural advocates join forces to deploy TV white spaces technology for high-speed broadband coverage. Article

Please note that WiRSA is involved in the Wisconsin initiative on White Space Technology – Link to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

USDOE seeks applicants from rural areas for the purpose of the School Ambassador Fellowship program. School staff members provide vital leadership in classrooms and schools, but too often lack opportunities to contribute their knowledge to the development of education policy on a broader scale. The U.S. Department of Education designed the School Ambassador Fellowship program to enable outstanding teachers, principals and other school leaders, like school counselors and librarians, to bring their school and classroom expertise to the Department and to expand their knowledge of the national dialogue about education. In turn, School Ambassador Fellows facilitate the learning and input of other educators and community members.

Mission: The School Ambassador Fellowship is designed to improve education for students by involving educators in the development and implementation of national education policy. The Fellowship seeks to:

There’s more information at this page.

The application is here.
Completed applications must be received by January 31, 2018 at 5:00 pm Eastern.

Interesting Article
America’s Rural Schools Are Hurting and Wisconsin Shows Why – written by Wisconsin based writer Carole Trone

Director Events from Week of December 18
Jan. 4, Conference call regarding AB 729 with CESA 7 Director Jeff Dickert
Jan. 5, Conference call with Kathleen Gallagher from Milwaukee Institute regarding White Space Technology and the TEAL program

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
Jan. 8, Ed. Issues conference call
Jan. 10, WiRSA Board Meeting
Jan. 10, Submitting written testimony on AB 729
Jan. 11, Assembly Judiciary Committee meeting on AB 693 – Teacher Protection Bill
TBD, Meeting with Kurt Kiefer at DPI on White Space Technology

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
WiRSA Scholarships
Clif Bar Family Foundation Grants
ESEA Information 
DPI Budget Summary
Licensure Webinar
2018 WiRSA Conference, October 29-30, Glacier Canyon in Wisconsin Dells