Urban Education Task Force Releases Recommendations

The Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Urban Education has released its final report. The task force was convened by Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) last year and chaired by Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Franklin) with the aim of improving educational outcomes at urban schools.

Vice Chair Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb) issued a statement indicating Democrats on the task force would be releasing their own separate report soon.

The recommendations are:

Peer Review Mentor GrantsRecommends that the Legislature reevaluate the program, and consider action regarding the overall funding for the program, the maximum grant award, and the criteria for program participation.

License Renewal for Teacher Mentors – Recommends streamlining the license renewal process for experienced teachers who serve as mentors to new teachers.

Teacher Training – Recommends encouraging teacher preparatory programs to provide instruction in how to teach in urban settings and in how to teach reading to all teacher license applicants.

Provide clarification for School Attendance Enforcement Recommends clarifying the definitions of “truancy” and “habitual truant” and specify what constitutes sufficient evidence to initiate a court proceeding without providing a student with educational counseling or other evaluative services.

Medicaid Reimbursement for School-Based Mental Health Services Recommends exploring creating a Medicaid Billing Code for consultation time between mental health care providers, parents, and school personnel.

Patient Information Sharing Between Physicians and Other Mental Health Care Professionals – Recommends investigating barriers to communications about a student’s mental health between physicians and mental health care professionals.

Two-Year Transfer Degree Programs – Recommends reviewing the collegiate transfer programs between the Technical Colleges in the WTCS and the UW System.

Summer School Funding Recommends reviewing state funding to school districts for summer school.

Pupil Nondiscrimination Reports – Recommends reviewing the State requirement that school districts report pupil nondiscrimination data.

Interim Assessments and Academic Interventions – Recommends considering funding interim assessments and academic interventions.

Statewide Summative Assessments: ACT – Recommends evaluating the potential to permit schools and school districts to accept student scores from ACT assessments taken at any time during a student’s 11th grade year for accountability purposes.

Early Childhood Education: Four-Year-Old Kindergarten – Recommends reviewing state funding for four-year-old kindergarten and explore additional options for investing in early childhood education.

Read More: Full ReportMilwaukee Journal SentinelSpeaker Vos; Rep. Rodriguez; Rep. Pope; Rep. Genrich