State Budget Outlook Improves

CapitolWisconsin’s budget picture is looking up.  According to Matt DeFour of the Wisconsin State Journal, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau “reported tax revenues are expected to be $455 million higher than what the Department of Administration projected in November. Also, spending in the current fiscal year that ends June 30 is expected to be $226 million lower — largely due to lower-than-expected Medicaid enrollment — and other revenues are expected to be $33 million higher.”

The article indicates “The additional revenue helps explain why Gov. Scott Walker has been able to promise several additional spending proposals in his upcoming 2017-2019 budget proposal, such as a “significant increase” for K-12 schools, a University of Wisconsin tuition cut back-filled with state taxpayer dollars and $100 million more for local roads and rural broadband.”

Read More: Wisconsin’s budget picture gets $714 million brighter

Numerous Opportunities to Learn More About Advocacy at the State Convention

convention_2017The 96th annual WASB/WASDA/WASBO joint state education convention kicks off next week in Milwaukee. We hope to see you there!

There are several great opportunities for school board members who are interested in legislative advocacy to learn more about key issues and how to be more effective.  This includes opportunities to participate in informational sessions related to the Delegate Assembly process that determines the WASB Resolutions and, in turn, the positions we take on issues before Congress and the state legislature. Continue reading Numerous Opportunities to Learn More About Advocacy at the State Convention

Candidate for State Supt. Humphries Supports Converting Low Performing Schools; State School Board

dreamstime_m_6081119According to Molly Beck of the Wisconsin State Journal,  “John Humphries wants schools that persistently do not meet state standards to be converted into private voucher or charter schools, or a new model of public school or some other governance model.”

He told the State Journal if elected, he would propose to bid out management of low-performing schools on the state report card to any kind of school operator, including to private voucher operators, different public school models or others. Continue reading Candidate for State Supt. Humphries Supports Converting Low Performing Schools; State School Board

Gov. Walker Promises Significant Increase in Public School Funding; Rural School Assistance

walkerconv1While providing no new specifics,  Governor Scott Walker once again reiterated in his State of the State Address that he will increase funding to public schools in his state budget proposal next month.  He also pledged to target assistance to rural schools and those with declining enrollment:

“Our budget will include a significant increase for public schools. We will also help rural schools that have unique challenges, such as transportation costs, broadband access, and declining enrollment.”

Continue reading Gov. Walker Promises Significant Increase in Public School Funding; Rural School Assistance

Confirmation Hearing Set for U.S. Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos for Jan. 17

On Tuesday, Jan. 17 the U.S. Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will begin proceedings to confirm President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for the position of Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.

Ms. DeVos is known for her involvement in several education reform organizations that support or promote privatization efforts, including private school vouchers. Those organizations include the American Federation for Children (AFC), the Education Freedom Fund, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, to name a few. Continue reading Confirmation Hearing Set for U.S. Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos for Jan. 17

Advocacy Tip: New Legislative Session Brings New Advocacy Opportunities

AdvocacyWith the new legislative session beginning there are new opportunities to advocate for your school districts and the children you serve. That’s because it’s a chance to renew/develop relationships with your state legislators.  We’ve previously shared contact information for the members of the Joint Finance Committee, Senate and Assembly education committees and the school districts represented by each. If you and your school district are represented by a lawmaker on these committees you are especially well-positioned to make an impact.

An easy way to stay in touch with your state lawmakers is to subscribe to their e-update through their websites (Senate & Assembly).  There are typically links or buttons on the front page of the websites.  Below are a couple examples: Continue reading Advocacy Tip: New Legislative Session Brings New Advocacy Opportunities