Legal & Human Resources Services
The Legal & Human Resources Services staff assist member districts’ school boards throughout the state. WASB staff attorneys can assist with a variety of employment, human resources, school and labor law issues to help your district make sound management decisions. See the tabs below.
Fee-based attorney-client legal services (“Legal Services”) are available to member boards in order to further the purpose of the WASB to aid and assist member boards in performing their lawful functions. Member boards have joined together in the WASB to secure the benefits of common purpose and shared resources. The Legal Services provided by WASB staff attorneys are distinct from the services provided to the common membership of WASB.
In addition to providing Legal Services under the Legal Services Program, WASB staff attorneys provide member boards with general legal information as a member service (no additional fee). Member boards can contact WASB staff counsel seeking general legal information without incurring an additional charge when the question typically does not involve investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the question or additional legal research. The provision of such general information under such circumstances to board members and others is understood not to create an attorney-client relationship between the WASB and the member board or individual making the inquiry. This general legal information does not constitute the provision of Legal Services to the requestor.
Your WASB membership provides access to the following services.
Additional legal resources are provided under Related Links.
Policies, Handbooks, and Job Descriptions
WASB staff attorneys can assist with the process of reviewing, drafting or revising board policies, a handbook, job descriptions, bargaining proposals or other employment-related documents. In addition, members may request district employment policies, handbooks, CBAs, and salary schedules from the WASB archives.
In-Services, Training and Webinars
On-site workshops and training are available covering a wide range of human resource, employment and school law topics. One of our most popular workshops is the School Board Legal Roles and Responsibilities workshop, where a WASB staff attorney reviews the legal basis for school board powers and duties, district administrator powers and duties and the duties of the individual board member. WASB can save you travel costs by presenting sessions remotely through videoconferencing. In addition, WASB staff attorneys frequently present on a variety of legal topics at the WASB annual Employment & Labor Law Seminars and State Education Convention, and through webinars.
Title IX - Training
The U.S. Department of Education recently issued new Title IX regulations regarding sexual harassment in public schools. The regulations became effective on August 14, 2020. The regulations require specific training for each Title IX coordinator as well as for the individuals who are assigned designated roles in the process that the school adopts for resolving formal complaints of Title IX sexual harassment (i.e., investigators, decision-makers and facilitators of informal resolutions). Title IX Training
Employment and Labor Law / Human Resources
The WASB staff attorneys can review your current contracts or draft new ones, answer contract interpretation questions, draft individual letters of intent for school year support personnel, guide your board through dismissal and nonrenewal proceedings, and represent school boards in contract administration issues.
In addition, WASB staff attorneys can help you navigate often-complicated legal waters and will represent boards in discrimination and unemployment insurance compensation cases before relevant state agencies.
Your membership allows you to access the WASB’s compensation database which is a powerful tool that contains salary and fringe benefit information from districts throughout the state. WASB staff attorneys represent school boards in all phases of contract negotiations for teachers and/or support staff. For example, a staff attorney may track comparable salary, wage and CPI data, draft proposals, negotiate, and advise districts how to respond to union proposals.
WASB staff attorneys can represent school boards in collective bargaining and are available to provide legal representation in response to prohibited practice complaints and unit clarification petitions.
Student Expulsion Hearings
WASB staff attorneys can either serve to impartially direct expulsion hearing proceedings or be named as a district’s designated hearing officer under section 120.13(1)(e)1.b. of the Wisconsin statues. As a designated hearing officer, a WASB staff attorney would serve as the impartial decision maker and determine whether the administration’s process and recommendation for expulsion should be upheld.
Negotiation, Review, and Drafting of Agreements with Outside Parties
WASB staff attorneys have experience working with construction, transportation and other commercial contracts. When entering into agreements with outside parties, boards may contact the WASB to review such contracts, negotiate more favorable terms, and protect boards from onerous contract provisions. In addition, WASB staff attorneys can help districts with intergovernmental agreements to make sure they comply with the law and board policies and procedures, and with establishing purchasing cooperatives to improve health insurance purchasing power.
Annual Meetings, Open Meetings, Public Records Requests
Wisconsin’s Open Meetings and Public Records laws need not be a constant source of consternation for school boards. WASB staff attorneys are available to provide individualized or group presentations regarding open meetings, public records, and public records retention requirements.
Common and union high school districts are required to have annual meetings of the electors and to present the proposed district budget for the upcoming school year. WASB staff attorneys are available to guide boards through their annual budget hearings, parliamentary procedures, annual meetings and the referendum process.