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2017 Legislative Advocacy Conference

What is the future of school funding in Wisconsin and how can school board members make an impact? The 2017 WASB Legislative Advocacy Conference will take a closer look at current school funding trends, the impact of the expansion of vouchers on district budgets, and where we may be headed. We’ll also talk with two key state legislators to find out their thoughts and plans on school funding and education policy.

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the future direction of school funding and how to be an effective advocate for your schools, your students and your communities.


Program - Saturday, November 4, 2017

10 Member Recognition Points Logo7:45 am
Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:15 am
• Capt. Terry McCloskey, USN Retired, WASB President and Three Lakes School Board Treasurer

8:30 am
Impact of Voucher Funding on Public Schools

It’s likely that more than half of Wisconsin public school districts will have resident pupils enrolled in a private school under the statewide voucher program this year. The state now provides voucher schools much more per-pupil aid than it provides public schools on average. It also funds voucher payments in the statewide program by reducing aid to the local school district. Learn about how this
system impacts (or will soon impact) your district’s funding and property tax levies.
• Brian Pahnke, Assistant State Superintendent for Finance and Management, Department of Public Instruction

9:35 am Break

9:45 am
School Funding: Current Trends and Future Direction

One of Wisconsin’s foremost experts on public finance will examine recent school funding trends, including: our state’s recent decline to below average on school funding in national rankings; the state aid shift toward per-pupil categorical aid and away from general equalization aid; and the growing dependence on referenda. The presenter will also look at whether the type of state aid
increases proposed by Gov. Scott Walker in his 2017-19 state budget are sustainable long term.
• Todd Berry, President, Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance

10:50 am Break

11:00 am
School Board Advocacy 101

While school boards have options as to how they structure their legislative advocacy, some options are more effective than others. Learn what these options are, how boards and individual board members can be more effective advocates while avoiding potential legal pitfalls, and how the WASB can help you in this informative, how-to session.
• Dan Rossmiller, Government Relations Director, WASB
• Chris Kulow, Government Relations Specialist, WASB

12:05 pm Lunch

1:00 pm
Legislative Advocacy Tips & Techniques from Fellow Board Members

Learn how to develop better communication and better relationships with your local legislators from board members who are working on doing just that. Get ideas on how to build and sustain these relationships and strengthen your advocacy efforts with lawmakers.
• Jim Bowman, Clerk, Appleton Area School Board
• Teresa Ford, Vice President, Howard-Suamico School Board
• Doug Mering, Vice President, Baraboo School Board

2:05 pm Break

2:15 pm
Legislative Panel: A Look at School Funding and Other Hot Topics

Rep. Joel Kitchens, a former school board president, was tasked by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos
(R-Rochester) with taking a fresh look at the school funding formula and making recommendations
for improvements. Sen. Luther Olsen, also a former school board president, has agreed to co-chair
this effort. Hear what they hope to achieve and how they plan to proceed. Also, get an update on
what education issues the legislature is likely to tackle during the remainder of the 2017-18 session
and learn about Sen. Olsen’s involvement in developing an important national report laying out
what’s needed to make American education world-class.
• State Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay), Vice-Chair, Assembly Education Committee
• State Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), Chair, Senate Education Committee

3:30 pm Adjourn

Registration Information

The registration fee is $155 per participant, which includes the program, materials, continental breakfast and lunch.

Deadline for registration: Friday, October 27, 2017

No refunds will be given unless cancellation is received at the WASB Madison office by the registration deadline. To cancel, please call
608-257-2622 or toll-free 877-705-4422.


Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center    Directions
1001 Amber Avenue
Stevens Point, WI 54482

Hotel Rate: Single: $82; Double: $109
Call 715-344-0200 and mention the WASB Legislative Advocacy Conference to receive the conference rate.

To reserve your room online:

Cut-off Date for Hotel Rooms: Tuesday, October 10, 2017