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Advocacy and Government Relations Services


 

2021 WASB Legislative Agenda

The WASB will advocate for:

1. Local School Board Authority and COVID-19 related Flexibilities, including:

♦ Opposing the creation or expansion of unfunded state mandates, including repeal of the Sept. 1 start date mandate. (3.20, 1.22, 1.23)

♦ Supporting statutory flexibility, tailored specifically to schools’ needs in the 2020-21 school year, from those state mandates the DPI does not believe it can waive (1.02 (b), 1.10), including:

♦ teacher and professional staff licensure (4.61);
♦ counting pupils for September, January and Summer School count date purposes in a period of uncertain attendance (2.41 (i));
♦ counting pupils for Transportation Aid in a period of uncertain attendance (2.33);
♦ providing schools with immunity from civil liability for COVID-19 related damages unless there is willful, wanton or reckless behavior (1.46);
♦ suspending state assessment requirements if assessments cannot be uniformly or safely administered (3.10);
♦ suspending school and district report cards if assessments upon which those reports are based are suspended (3.185); and
♦ allowing school districts to reset

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2. Necessary Resources for Public Schools, including:

♦ Providing predictable increases in available, spendable school district revenues to at least match inflationary increases in school costs. (2.19)

♦ Supporting increasing special education categorical aid with a goal to eventually reimburse 60% of prior year eligible costs. (2.31)

 

3. Student Mental Health

♦ Supporting creating a categorical aid for school-based mental health services. (6.065)

 

4. Implementing Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding (2.065), including:

♦ To address the cost of providing an appropriate education to low-income and English learner pupils, the Commission recommends weighting such pupils as 1.2 FTE in the general school aids and revenue limit formulas. (2.06 (a)(c))

♦ To address educator workforce shortages, create a teacher loan forgiveness program, modeled after the current-law minority teacher loan program and restore pre-2013 Act 20 law regarding rehiring annuitants, including the 30-day break-in-service requirement and the choice of whether to terminate the annuity or continue to receive it. (4.37)

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