February 1st Edition

It is contract renewal season and this edition of the Update provides you with important reminders, updates and new data. Including articles on:

  • Important annual reminders about key contract terms, timelines and actions required by administrators,
  • Developing win-win provisions in your contract, and,
  • Results of the 2016-18 Professional Issues Survey.

We would like to thank our friends at Horace Mann for sponsoring this year's survey! 

Administrator Contracts: Annual Reminders

By Malina Piontek, Attorney

Wisconsin law requires school boards to contract with administrators, in writing, as well as to comply with specific contract renewal and nonrenewal procedures and deadlines.  Since December, principals have been increasingly calling AWSA’s legal hotline with questions about administrator contracts and these statutory requirements. The first weeks of January have seen a flurry of contract questions as well.

This Update is designed to provide principals with essential information about individual principal contracts, their terms, and the timelines for renewal and nonrenewal of these contracts.

Read more.

Developing a Win-Win Administrative Contract

By Jim Lynch, Executive Director, AWSA

School leadership matters. School principals influence the school culture and the instructional quality of whole systems of teachers.1 Leaders’ effect on students contributes to twenty-five percent of the total school influences on students’ academic performance.2 Therefore, school districts have an enormous interest to attract, retain and continually improve strong school leaders.

School leaders enter the profession to make a positive impact for students, and school districts want to provide the conditions for that to occur. The contract lays out the shared goals of both the leader and the district. These shared goals include stability, comparability and growth.

Read more. 

Results of the 2016-18 Professional Issues Survey

The results provide answers to questions ranging from personal contributions toward health insurance to policies related to tuition reimbursement and the latest salary data reported by region. 

Read more.


February 15th Edition

In Pursuit of the Balance and Energy That Makes Us Whole

By Joe Schroeder, PhD, AWSA Associate Executive Director

Henry David Thoreau once famously wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation….”  As I would continue to encounter this quotation over the years, and especially as I was taking on ever more responsibility as a leader in education over time, these words would strike an increasingly deeper chord -- especially in this season of the late Wisconsin winter, when it often seems that tedium and conflict and stagnation can reign.  It’s at these times in particular where I can feel out of sorts, out of balance, perhaps feeling like I am leading that “life of quiet desperation” that I have worked so hard to avoid both at work and outside of it -- as I try to hold all the responsibilities and aims of my life somehow together in a world with almost unceasing demands for my limited time, attention, and energy.  If this scenario resonates, read on -- as I share some proactive measures aimed to help you address this all-too-common leadership and life challenge. 

Read more.

State Superintendent Elections Dates and Information

Wisconsin voters will have the opportunity to vote in a three-way primary for Superintendent of Public Instruction. The dates for the upcoming race are as follows:

Primary Election Date: February 21, 2017

General Election Date: April 4, 2017

AWSA and the SAA have recently released an endorsement of State Superintendent Tony Evers. 

Earlier this month the SAA sent a series of questions to each candidate concerning their views on education. The State Superintendent Candidate Responses to these questions can be found below: 

Tony Evers

John Humphries

Lowell Holtz

 Governor Submits 2017-19 Budget Proposal 

The Governor submitted his budget proposal to the Legislature on February 8th.  The Governor’s request includes funding corresponding to several AWSA/SAA priorities:

  • Funding for a comprehensive agenda to address mental health, including: funding for mental health professionals and social workers in schools; grants for school-community collaborations; and for training educators in Mental Health First-Aid, Trauma Sensitive Schools, and School-Based Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment (SBIRT). 
  • Increasing per-pupil aid by $200 in 2017-18 and $204 in 2018-19.
  • Increasing both sparsity and transportation aids.

It will be critical to support bi-partisan efforts to address these critical issues throughout the budget process!  After the Legislative Fiscal Bureau prepares detailed analysis of the Governor’s proposals the Joint Committee on Finance will begin taking action on the Budget.  Final passage of the budget is expected in the summer of 2017.

Teacher Leadership and Voice

A group of teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members and DPI staff has collaborated throughout the year to create the Wisconsin Every Teacher a Leader Summit. The Wisconsin Every Teacher a Leader Summit is a place to bring a teacher leadership idea you have, develop that idea into an actionable plan, and meet others who can help you along the way. Coaches will help participants take their ideas, create a plan, and determine ways to move forward. This year's summit will take place April 28-29, 2017 in Lambeau Field, Green Bay.