While that is very good news that school boards should be pleased to hear, it raises important questions school leaders should be raising with their state lawmakers, including newly elected ones, and with the governor as he works to develop his budget proposal: How much additional money and will it translate into actual resources school boards can use?
Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) will return as the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC), the powerful state budget-writing committee. Two new committee members, Rep. Mark Born of Beaver Dam and Rep. Mike Rohrkaste of Neenah, were appointed to replace retiring Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) while Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) was removed from the committee.
Following a recent tragic school bus crash in Tennessee, there is renewed attention on school bus safety and, in particular, calls for requiring safety belts on all school buses. It is likely that lawmakers on both the federal and state level will be considering potential legislation on this issue.
The WASB is open to looking at ways to make school bus transportation safer, including more rigorous screening and training of school bus drivers, but the WASB membership has a long-standing position on school bus seat belt mandates.
Resolution 3.51 adopted by the 1986 Delegate Assembly, reads, “The WASB opposes legislation requiring all school buses to be equipped with seat belts for students.” This position is based primarily on the questionable safety merits along with the costs involved. Continue reading School Bus Safety Draws New Scrutiny→
The 2017 WASB Legislative Agenda has been approved by the Board of Directors and is posted on our website. The agenda outlines these top priorities for the Government Relations (GR) team to focus on in their advocacy efforts during the first year of the upcoming 2017-18 legislative session:
Preserving Governance of Publicly Funded Schools by Locally Elected Boards
Meeting Unmet Student Mental Health Needs That Interfere with Student Learning
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) recently had a brief Q & A with the Racine Journal Times. The first question asked Speaker Vos to name his top priorities in the upcominglegislative session beginning in January. He said the legislature’s number one job will be passing a balanced state budget in the first six months or so of 2017. He then listed his priorities for the budget including:
“I would like to continue to increase our investment in education, especially public schools and universities.”