GOP Says Evers’ Special Ed Boost Won’t Happen

By John Forester | March 13, 2019

Check out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story.

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BoardmanClark: DOL Releases New Overtime Rules

By John Forester | March 12, 2019

From The Legal Side…

BoardmanClark recently published this School Law FYI regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s release of its proposed overtime rule. The SAA regularly receives these updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of BoardmanClark.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update, SAA Legal Side | No Comments »

Suggestions for Budget Advocacy

By John Forester | March 11, 2019

I would like to thank all those SAA members that have already begun conversations with their legislators regarding the governor’s budget recommendations.  Our success during this state budget process will be determined by your relationships with your legislators and your willingness to contact your legislators repeatedly throughout the long budget process.

While this post is not a full-blown “legislative alert” (that will come a little later) on the state budget, I do want to provide you with some suggestions for your initial budget conversations with your legislators.

In your communications, I suggest you cover the following:

  1. Invite your legislators to your school(s).  Use the opportunity to show them some of the great educational opportunities afforded to the children in your district.  Show them what learning looks like today in your district.
  2. Walk through your revenue cap worksheets with your legislators.
  3. Express your strong support for at least a $200/pupil general revenue increase in each year of the biennium.  Explain the importance of these increases in human and in fiscal terms.  In particular, emphasize the impact on educational opportunities for the kids you serve.
  4. In my meetings this past week, it became clear that many inside the Capitol do not understand special education funding.  It is vitally important that you reach out and educate your legislators on the following:
    • Wisconsin special education categorical aid is distributed on a cost-reimbursement model; our current reimbursement rate is about 25% on prior year costs.
    • Wisconsin identifies students for special education at about the national average.
    • There is no incentive to “over-identify” students for special education.
    • Explain your district’s fund 10 to fund 27 transfer, as well as the internal friction that transfer can generate.
    • Express your strong support for the governor’s proposed increase in funding for special education.
  5. Remember, it is in our interest to largely support the governor’s recommendations.  Let’s not negotiate with ourselves.  We need to stay together as a political organization, and as K-12 advocates.

For your convenience, I have provided links to the Senate Directory, the Assembly Directory and Who Are My Legislators.

Thanks for listening, and for all your efforts on behalf of the kid’s you serve.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Governor Evers Budget Address

By John Forester | March 1, 2019

Check out the text of Governor Evers’ State Budget Address.

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Budget in Brief K-12 Education Highlights

By John Forester | March 1, 2019

K-12 education highlights from the Budget in Brief begin on p. 11.  Check it out.

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SAA News Release

By John Forester | March 1, 2019

The SAA issued this news release this morning regarding the introduction of the governor’s executive budget.

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Budget News Coverage

By John Forester | March 1, 2019

Check out some of the news coverage on Governor Evers state budget proposal and the Republican response to it.

Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin State Journal

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Understanding the State Budget Process

By John Forester | February 27, 2019

The nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF) has just issued a brief overview of the State Budget Process that SAA members may wish to share with boards of education and constituent groups in your districts.  Check it out here.

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Evers Seeks to Freeze Voucher School Enrollment

By John Forester | February 25, 2019

In his first state budget, Governor Tony Evers will seek to freeze enrollment in private voucher schools and suspend expansion of independent charter schools.  Check out the news story from Molly Beck of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

WPF Releases New School DataTool

By John Forester | February 15, 2019

On the heels of releasing a very well-received report on special education funding earlier this week, the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF) today released a new online school resource which allows parents, teachers, school officials and the public to examine and compare educational data for school districts throughout Wisconsin.

For more information, see the WPF news release and check out the WPF School DataTool.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

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