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Yet Another Measure Threatens the Common School Fund

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Thursday, October 20, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Senate Bill 95, a school reform bill, threatens the Common School Fund by eliminating the current 25 percent limit on the amount of CSF money that may be used to purchase school library computers and related software.The full Senate is scheduled to vote on this bill at 11:00 a.m. today, Thursday, October 20.Please contact your senator right away and request an amendment to SB-95 that would remove the provisions in the bill that relate to the Common School Fund.  Thank you for your help!Points to raise:The common school fund is the major source of school library resources, both print and electronic. These resources are critical to a quality education for our students to prepare them for work and college.It is important to uphold the constitutional intent of the Common School Fund for its intended purposes. School libraries in Wisconsin continue to be a cornerstone of a strong educational system. Direct them to...

Common School Fund Threatened: Contact Legislators!

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Friday, October 14, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Legislation related to nursing home regulation, introducedas companion bills AB-302 and SB-212, will reduce funding available to theschool libraries, if passed. The Wisconsin Educational Media & TechnologyAssociation (WEMTA) says the legislation could cost the Common School Fund(CSF) at least $1.5 million per year because it diverts fines and forfeitureson nursing homes from the CSF. The Assembly Committee on Aging and Long Term Care will vote on AB-302 onThursday, October 20, at 9:00 a.m. in room 400 Northeast of the State Capitol.The Senate Committee will meet that same date and time in room 330 Southwest.If the bills are approved by committee, they go straight tothe full Assembly and Senate.It is very important to reach out to legislatorsin both the Assembly and Senate, and if you are represented by someone on thecommittees who vote on October 20, your call is essential.Assembly Committee members are as follows: RepresentativesDan Knodl (R-Germantown, District 24), Warren Petryk (R-Elva,...

K-12 School Mandate Relief Bill Fails in Committee, Preserves Common School Fund Purpose

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Thursday, June 09, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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On Thursday, June 9, Assembly Bill 130, failed to pass committee by a vote of 5-6. Referred to by its supporters as a K-12 "mandate relief" bill, it would have, among other changes, removed the 25 percent limit on computer purchases with Common School Fund (CSF) proceeds. Current law requires schools districts to spend the CSF proceeds on materials and instructional resources for the library, except that up to 25% can be spent on school library computers and related software. One concern expressed by school librarians and others was that some districts would appropriate too much for computers and other hardware at the expense of educational content for those devices.Voting against the bill: Representatives Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater), Sondy Pope-Roberts (D-Middleton), Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee), Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh), and Fred Clark (D-Baraboo). Reports are that there was significant discussion about the Common School Fund provision, with Representative Dean Knudson...

Potential Change to Common School Fund Spending Raises Concerns

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Friday, May 13, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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A bill touted as a K-12 "mandate relief" includes changes in the way Common School Funds can be spent. The bill (SB 95) eliminates the current 25 percent limit on the amount of money a school library receives from the Common School Fund to purchase school library computers and related software. In other words, the entire CSF allocation could be used to purchase devices rather than the information resources needed for student learning; e.g., the school librarian is required by administration to purchase new computers but then cannot afford to purchase access to research databases.The Assembly Education and Senate Education Committees will hold a joint hearing on the draft bill next Monday, May 16, 10:00 a.m. in Room 411-S State Capitol. If your legislator is a member of one of these committees, please call him or her to to voice your concerns.Edited May 17:A Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article published May 16 summarized...