Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Are you the next WEMTA Professional of the Year?

"The Professional of the Year award was the ultimate affirmation of my Educator Effectiveness process! My administrator has used the award as an opportunity to promote the value of an LMS to fellow administrators. She believes an effective LMS collaborates to build a culture of reading, inquiry and critical thinking which ultimately impacts student achievement."

Count yourself as a WEMTA Professional of the Year see: http://www.wemta.org/awards/index.cfm

Sunday, October 23, 2016

DPI Releases State Aid Numbers for Wisconsin's School Districts

The Department of Public Instruction released the certified state aid numbers for all of Wisconsin's school districts.

The state provides $4.584 billion for general state aid during the 2016-17 school year, an increase of $108.1 million over last year.

According to DPI, 60% of the state's public school districts (255 of 424) will receive more general state aid this school year than they did in 2015‑16.

General school aid is also impacted by the school choice programs. School districts participating in either the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, Racine Parental Choice Program or the Wisconsin Parental Choice program will have general aid deductions based on the number of students enrolled in the choice programs.

Most of the $122.3 million in increased general aid will be directed toward property tax relief since the per pupil revenue limits were not increased in the last state budget.

To see DPI's full release on the general state aid amounts schools districts will receive, click here.

WEMTA Legislative Committee
Blumenfeld and Associates, LLC

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Voter Resources for WEMTA Members

Election Day is fast approaching! Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 8, and you can register to vote at the polls as long as you provide proof of residence. Despite recent court rulings, Wisconsin's Voter ID is still currently in effect, so you will need to show poll workers a photo ID in order to vote. To find your polling place and preview your ballot, go to https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/.

Early voting is being offered in municipalities across Wisconsin right now. Days and hours vary but some municipalities are offering early voting until November 6. In Madison, residents can vote early at all public libraries and other locations around the city. To check out your early voting options, contact your local Clerk's office. To find out who your clerk is, visit:https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/MyMunicipalClerk

On the ballot for the November 8 General Election are U.S. President, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, even-numbered Wisconsin State Senate seats, and all Wisconsin Assembly seats. About half of Wisconsin's State Senate and State Assembly seats have already been filled for the 2017-18 Legislative session since many state-level races were either uncontested or decided by the August primary.

To learn about your local candidates, check out recent interviews and election coverage on Wisconsin Eye, the Wheeler Report and WisPolitics.

State Assembly Races

Republicans currently control the Assembly with a 63-36 majority. Of the 99 Assembly seats, only 52 seats are up for grabs on Election Day. Republicans are expected to easily maintain their majority next session since Democrats would not only need to defend all of their current seats but also pick up 14 seats on November 8.

Several key races were decided by primaries held in August, including:

Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego) will fill Representative David Craig's (R-Big Bend) seat in Assembly District 83 after winning a crowded Republican primary. Craig left his Assembly Seat to run for retiring State Senator Mary Lazich's (R-New Berlin) seat in Senate District 28; Craig did not face a primary challenge and is uncontested in the General Election.

Former State Representative Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee) reclaimed his Assembly seat after winning the Democratic primary in Assembly District 11 to fill the seat vacated by Representative Mandela Barnes (D-Milwaukee). Fields lost his Assembly seat in 2012 after losing a primary challenge from Barnes.

Former Capitol staffer David Crowley (D-Milwaukee) will fill State Representative La Tonya Johnson's (D-Milwaukee) Assembly seat after winning the Democratic primary. Johnson gave up her Assembly seat to run for Senate.

Jimmy Anderson (D-Fitchburg) will fill State Representative Robb Kahl's (D-Monona) open seat in Assembly District 47.

State Senate Races

Republicans control the Senate with a 19-14 majority. Only 8 of the 16 even-numbered Senate seats are up for grabs in theGeneral Election. In order for Democrats to gain the majority in the Senate, they will need to defend all of their current seats and pick up three seats. Possible opportunities for pick-ups are: Senator Sheila Harsdorf's (R-River Falls) seat in Senate District 10; Senator Tom Tiffany's (R-Hazelhurst) seat in Senate District 12; Senator Luther Olsen's (R-Ripon) seat in Senate District 14; and the open seat in Senate District 18 which was held by Senator Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac) who passed away earlier this week. Republicans have several opportunities to gain seats currently held by Democrats as Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) faces a tough re-election bid against former State Senator Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse)in Senate District 32, and Senator Julie Lassa is facing a tough challenge from Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) in Senate District 24.

State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) held on to her Senate seat after easily fending off a primary challenge from State Representative Mandela Barnes (D-Milwaukee), 61%-39%, in August. Barnes had to give up his Assembly seat to challenge Taylor, so he will not be returning to the Legislature next session. State Representative La Tonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) will fill Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd's (D-Milwaukee) Senate seat after winning the Democratic primary in August.

U.S. Senate

There is a re-match for one of Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seats between former Senator Russ Feingold (D-Middleton) and Senator Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh) in the General Election. Johnson previously unseated incumbent Senator Feingold in 2010. The race will be very close. The latest Marquette Law School poll showed Feingold narrowly leading Johnson, 46%-44%.

U.S. House of Representatives

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) faces a challenge from Ryan Solen (D-Mount Pleasant) in the District 1.

In District 2, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (D-Black Earth) is being challenged by Peter Theron (R-Madison).

U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) is uncontested in November in District 3.

U.S. Representative Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) has a Libertarian challenger, Andy Craig of Milwaukee, in District 4.

In District 5, U.S. Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) is challenged by Khary Penebaker (D-Hartland).

U.S. Representative Glenn Grothman (R- Glenbeulah) is challenged by Sarah Lloyd (D-Wisconsin Dells) in the District 6.

U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (R-Wausau) will face Mary Hoeft (D-Rice Lake) in District 7.

Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay), the winner of a crowded Republican Primary, will face Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D-Appleton) in the race to fill U.S. Representative Reid Ribble's (R-Sherwood) open seat in District 8.

WEMTA Legislative Committee

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Are you ready to vote in the general election?

Find out if you're registered to vote, find your polling place, and learn what's on your ballot at the My Vote Wisconsin website.

Although most in-person voting is from October 24 through November 4, 2016, it varies by community. Find out when early voting starts in your community here.

Voter ID is in effect for this election. The League of Women's Voters of Wisconsin has published a helpful site that explains how to get a voter ID at http://www.lwvwi.org/Vote2016/WisconsinVoterPhotoID.aspx.

Be sure to check out the WEMTA Legislative Blog for legislative updates.

Time to submit a nomination for WEMTA awards!

WEMTA award season is gearing up!  Nominate today an individual who supports the library or educational technology program or whom are outstanding in what they do!  Recognize them!

See http://www.wemta.org/awards/ for more details about nominating yourself or a colleague! Nominations close on January 15, 2017.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Election Season & WEMTA Award Season What do they have in common?

Election season & WEMTA Award Season what do they have in common? Both make your library voice heard! Please go here for more information.