WASB Director of Government Relations Dan Rossmiller was interviewed for a segment on our support for returning local control to determining the school start date. The interview was featured on NBC 15 in Madison.
Assembly Bill 70, a bill to allow local school boards to decide how best to inform the public of board meeting minutes (also called proceedings), has been scheduled for a public hearing in the Assembly Local Government Committee on Wednesday, March 8. We need school board members and administrators to show up and testify in support of this WASB-initiated bill. WASB will be there but we can’t do it alone. If you can attend the hearing to testify and/or have questions about testifying at a hearing please contact the WASB GR team. Continue reading ALERT: School Leaders Needed to Testify at Hearing on Modernizing Minutes Bill
Federal Enforcement Actions: The joint decision by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education to withdraw and rescind past guidance on transgendered students means those departments will not be independently pursuing enforcement actions against schools and/or threatening the loss of federal funds based on a school district’s alleged failure to implement each and every aspect of the former guidelines.
As a practical matter, enforcement of the rescinded guidance has been on hold since last August when a federal district court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction blocking enforcement. (See previous post.) The Wisconsin Department of Justice was one of several state departments that joined a federal lawsuit challenging the guidance that resulted in the issuance of that injunction. (See previous post.) Given the latest action from the new Trump administration, that lawsuit is “essentially moot,” according to a state DOJ spokesman. Continue reading Where Does The Feds’ Withdrawal of Transgender Guidance Leave School Districts?
The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education have withdrawn and rescinded written policy and guidance statements related to transgender students that had been issued by the Departments in 2015 and 2016, including the “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students” issued last May, in order to “further and more completely consider the legal issues involved.” The Departments will no longer rely on the views expressed in those documents.
The now-withdrawn statements had taken the position that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IX’s implementing regulations, which expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, require school districts to provide students with access to sex-segregated facilities (such as restrooms and locker rooms) on the basis of gender identity.
The WASB has developed a sample board resolution supporting repeal of the Sept 1 start date law. It is posted on our new Boards Taking Action page (also linked above in the gray bar). You will also find letters from various business groups and chambers of commerce supporting local school district control of the start date provided by the Northland Pines School District.
We will be posting additional sample resolutions on emerging topics on that page as well as resolutions passed by Wisconsin school boards. We invite boards to use the resolutions posted there as samples to help guide your board’s advocacy efforts. Continue reading Sample School Start Date Resolution Available
State Representative Jim Ott (R-Mequon, pictured) and state Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) are circulating a bill draft (LRB 1378) to repeal the September 1 start date mandate. The bill would allow local school boards to determine the start date for the fall semester beginning in the 2018-19 school year. It would not require districts to begin school before September 1st, nor will it affect the number of days of instruction. We encourage you to contact your state legislators and urge them to sign on as a co-author of LRB 1378. The deadline is February 10.
The WASB strongly supports this bill on local control grounds, a position that was reinforced at the Delegate Assembly this year. It is important that we get as many legislators to sign on to these bills as possible. The tourism industry will be contacting lawmakers asking them not to support it. We need to make our voice heard!