A recently introduced Assembly Bill—Assembly Bill 267—aims to call attention to the growing impact of Wisconsin voucher programs on school property taxes.
The “Wisconsin Voucher Taxpayer Transparency Bill,” authored by state Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) would require property tax bills to include information from the school district where the property is located regarding the amount of any net reduction in state aid, if any, to the district as a result of pupils enrolled in the statewide voucher program, the Racine voucher program, or the Milwaukee voucher program. (See news release.)
Continue reading Bill Seeks Transparency on Property Tax Impact of Voucher Funding
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday (April 26) directing U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to conduct a study to “determine where the federal government has unlawfully overstepped on state and local control” with regard to K-12 schools. According to the White House, the executive order is “intended to return authority to where Congress intended—state and local entities.”
In response to the executive order, an Education Department task force, led by Robert Eitel, a senior adviser to the secretary, will take a close look at all of the K-12 regulations put out by the past administration and decide which intrude upon local control. After 300 days, the department will release a report on its findings, according to a department spokesperson.
You can find the executive order here.
Continue reading President Trump Orders Study of Federal Role in Education
On Monday morning (April 3), the School Administrators Alliance is hosting an event at the Concourse Hotel in Madison entitled, “What Wisconsin Can Learn About Education Innovations From the World’s Top Performing Countries.”
This gathering will explore a bipartisan report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), entitled “No Time to Lose,” which carefully examined the education policies and practices of high-performing countries with an eye toward learning what it might take to build a world-class education system state by state here in the U.S. Continue reading What Can Top-Performing Education Systems in Other Countries Teach Us About Improving Education in WI?
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.
Click here to view the segment.
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?