MADISON — Today, State Superintendent Tony Evers proposed administrative rule changes that will expand high-quality summer learning opportunities for kids.
“Over the course of the past school year, I convened Milwaukee area community, school, and business leaders to promote fun summer learning,” Evers said. “Through that work, we identified several changes to how the department oversees summer programming, and I’m excited to implement those flexibilities so schools can accelerate summer learning opportunities in their communities.”
The proposed rules will give school districts new funding flexibility by clarifying that federal funds can be used to support summer learning and allowing open enrollment students to be counted in summer school membership. Under the proposed rules, academic field trips, musical performances, and agricultural and other scholastic competitions would be eligible activities for summer instruction, just as they are during the regular school year. The proposed rules also would eliminate several barriers to collaborative programs developed by local schools that serve kids through community and business partners.
“There is tremendous momentum in our state around expanding summer learning opportunities,” continued Evers. “I have heard from school leaders, the business community, and a growing number of elected leaders from both parties that the desire to collaborate on ways to increase summer learning is tangible. I hope this action can serve as an important first act,” he said.
Building on this work, Evers’ 2017-19 biennial budget request will include several initiatives to increase state support for summer learning. These include improving funding by allowing districts to fully count summer school students, expanding access by increasing the transportation reimbursement rate, and expanding dual enrollment opportunities for students to take advanced coursework in person or online. The budget request also will seek to simplify reporting requirements to reduce schools’ administrative work for summer learning programs. Evers said that the goal of the proposed rules and budget proposals will be to ensure that local communities can create partnerships and programing that best fit local student needs.
NOTES: A copy of the proposed rules and the fiscal estimate related to summer and interim learning opportunities (PI 17) is available online.The Department of Public Instruction’s 2017-19 budget request will be release in November after general school aid is certified.