2024 School Board Summit

Noah Webster Educational Foundation

Join the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and the Noah Webster Education Foundation for a day of professional development for Wisconsin school board members and candidates. This training summit is packed with plenary sessions and panels that will inform and equip school board members to enhance parental involvement, increase transparency, and prioritize student academic achievement.

The event is cohosted with the Noah Webster Educational Foundation and will feature legal and policy experts to provide timely updates and discuss ideas to restore quality education in Wisconsin.

There are only a handful of seats available, so if you would like to register, please contact Cory Brewer at [email protected]


2024 School Board Summit  

Hosted by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty & the Noah Webster Educational Foundation.


Friday, April 12th

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Milwaukee Marriott West

W231N1600 Corporate Ct.

Waukesha, WI 53186

2024 AGENDA 

Presentation by Melvin Adams, Noah Webster Educational Foundation

 Leadership. Administration. Politics. These, and more, are required to be a good school board member. The role can be complex, but certain simplicities lie at the heart of the job and being effective in its mission. Discovering them and staying the course is central to success. This brief session will explore the balance between the complexities and simplicities of the job.


  • Melvin Adams – Founder of the Noah Webster Educational Foundation

Empowering School Board Members
Alternative Resources for Informed Decision-Making and Governance

So often, the only resources known to school board members are given from one perspective. Instead, school board members should know about the many resources at their disposal, enabling them to make informed decisions and prioritize student academic achievement in their communities. WILL legal and policy experts will provide introductions on several important topics, which will include an overview about school board member powers and duties, how to access data about your district, how to track relevant legislation at the state level, and how to ensure compliance with open records laws. This presentation is tailored for school board members seeking to expand their knowledge base and enhance their decision-making capabilities by hearing about resources beyond traditional avenues such as state school board associations or district administration.


  • Cory Brewer – Education Counsel at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty
  • Dr. Will Flanders – Research Director at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty
  • Lucas Vebber – Deputy Counsel at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty
  • Kyle Koenen – Policy Director at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty

Equality in the Classroom
Ensuring Racial Nondiscrimination for Wisconsin Students and Educators

By providing a legal update and discussing common examples of racial discrimination in schools, this panel seeks to empower school board members to make informed policy decisions that promote fairness and respect for all students. Presenters will examine concerns about compelled speech and legal challenges related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies and curriculum originating from viewpoints that have sparked debate. The panel will discuss the legal obligations of schools to ensure equal treatment for all students regardless of race and provide an understanding of the need to ensure racial nondiscrimination within all facets of K through 12 education.


How to Ensure District Funds Deliver the Most for Students
Bringing Communities Along in Challenging Budget Times

For most school districts, financial pressures are intensifying as federal relief funds wind down, enrollments shift, and labor costs continue to rise, all against the backdrop of an economic downturn. Decisions made regarding school district budgets will play a critical role in ensuring that district funds can deliver the most for students. This presentation is designed to equip school board members with the practical skills needed to know how to direct limited resources towards the goal of achieving educational excellence for all students.


Parental Rights and Student Gender Identity
Understanding the Vital Role of Parent Involvement in Decision-making for Minor Students

This presentation will provide school board members with insights into the importance of parental involvement in education, particularly with regard to the evolving topic of student gender identity. This panel will feature a legal expert, a policy expert, a parent, and a clinical psychologist whose work has focused primarily on children and adolescents dealing with gender identity-related issues. These experts will explore the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children while addressing the sensitive issue of gender ideology in schools. By navigating these issues with a commitment to collaboration, school board members can foster positive relationships between schools, parents, and students while upholding parents’ constitutional rights.


Cultivating Collaborative Partnerships
Fostering Effective Relationships Between School Board Members and Superintendents

This presentation aims to explore practices that support effective partnerships between school board members and superintendents. If all are focused on the best interests of students and families, responsible fiscal policies, and thoughtful consideration of community concerns, then even a board with diverse perspectives can become an effective board. The relationship between school board members and superintendents is crucial because it directly influences positive outcomes for students, teachers, and the community. This panel will seek to provide a roadmap for long-term success and good governance.


  • Joe Garza – Superintendent at School District of New Berlin
  • Dr. Bill Hughes – President of Hughes Strategic Consulting
  • James Macy – Chair of School Law Section at von Briesen & Roper, s.c.
  • Robert Kobleska – School Board Member at Greendale School District
  • Janet Schulz – President of New Berlin School Board

Connecting Policy to Practice
Strategies for Effective Implementation and Evaluation of Policies in the Classroom

This panel discussion is dedicated to empowering school board members with actionable strategies to bridge the divide between policy formulation and classroom application. It is imperative for school boards to recognize their substantial influence over classroom dynamics; they are not just passive supporters of administrative decisions but essential contributors shaping educational outcomes. As educators, administrators, and policymakers collaborate to elevate educational standards, this discussion will highlight the pivotal role of school boards in translating policies into effective classroom practices.


  • Robert Pondiscio – Senior Fellow in Education at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
  • Daniel Buck – Editorial and Policy Associate at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Cory Brewer – Education Counsel at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty

For more information or questions contact WILL Education Counsel, Cory Brewer at [email protected].  

Event Sponsors: