Monday, February 3, 2014

Capitol Update, February 3

School Accountability

A bill that would make changes to school accountability was pulled from an executive session in the Senate Committee on Education after chairman and bill author Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) said he did not have enough votes to pass the current version.  One of the biggest changes that the bill proposes would be to change the rating system for schools to an A-F grade, instead of the current five-tiered category system.  DPI would then be required to give at least 5% of schools in the state an F grade, which is equivalent to about 100 schools.  Schools that receive an F grade three years in a row, or a combination of 5 years in a row of D’s and F’s, would be required  to contract with a charter-management company.

On Tuesday, Senator Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee) put out a request for input on the bill.  Critics have stated concerns over the proposed grading system and five percent failing requirement.  They also argue that the bill gives preferential treatment to voucher schools who are not required to administer the same test as public schools and can choose to only test students enrolled through the voucher program. 

Governor Walker has stated that he would like to sign a school accountability bill by the end of the session.


State Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) has announced that he will not be seeking re-election this year.  Senator Schultz was elected into the Assembly for the first time in 1982 and the Senate in 1991.  He has acknowledged that he will not rule out potentially running for Congress in the future. Schultz also declined to endorse Republican candidate Representative Howard Marklein, who decided to run for Schultz’s seat after he broke with the Republican caucus on several key votes during the past two years, including the controversial mining bill and Act 10.

Senator Dale Schultz: Schultz Won’t Seek Another Term

Dave Leeper has announced that he will run for State Treasurer.  He is currently working as an attorney and formerly held the position of Green County District Attorney.

Pete Flesch (D-Soldiers Grove) has announced that he will run for the Assembly seat in the 96th District.  He is a retired dairy farmer who is the current Crawford County Board Chairman.  The seat is currently held by Lee Nerison (R-Westby).

Jon Kruse (R-Sturgeon Bay), a small business owner, has announced that he will run for the Assembly seat in the 1st District.  The seat is currently held by Garey Bies who recently announced that he will not be seeking re-election.

Kruse for Assembly: Kruse Seeks Bid for Assembly

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