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Legislative Update


State Senate to meet Tuesday, take up several K-12 related bills

by | Oct 4, 2019 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue | 0 comments

Capital DomeThe Wisconsin Senate will meet in floor session on Tuesday, Oct. 8, beginning at 11:00 a.m. This will be the only day in October the full Senate will meet.

Among the bills on Tuesday Senate calendar will be:

Senate Bill 160 — Relating to: the method for providing notice of a special meeting of a school board.

By Senators Olsen, Bewley, Kooyenga and Wanggaard; cosponsored by Representatives Gundrum, Ballweg, Brandtjen, Edming, Felzkowski, Horlacher, Knodl, Kulp, Milroy, Skowronski, Subeck, Tittl, Tusler and Wichgers.

Under current law, the clerk of a school district (other than a first class city
school district) or, in the clerk’s absence, the president of the school district must
notify each school board member in writing of the time and place of a special meeting
of the school board at least 24 hours before the meeting. Currently, the notice must
be delivered personally to each school board member or left at or mailed by first class
mail to the member’s usual place of abode.

This bill makes the following changes to the requirements for providing notice
of a special meeting of a school board:

–The bill requires a school district clerk or, in the clerk’s absence, the school
district’s president to notify each school board member of the meeting in a manner
likely to give the member notice of the meeting.

–The bill specifies that the date, time, and place for the meeting must be set
by the clerk of a school district or, in the clerk’s absence, the president of the
school
district.

–The bill provides that, if a school district clerk or, in the clerk’s absence,
the school district’s president determines that providing notice at least 24 hours
before
the meeting is, for good cause shown by the clerk or president, impossible
or
impractical, the clerk or president may notify each school board member of the
date,
time, and place of the meeting less than 24 hours, but not less than 2 hours,
before
the meeting.

The WASB helped initiate SB 160 (as well as its Assembly companion, AB 170) upon the request of a former school board president and supports its passage.  [Note: The changes made by SB 160 are patterned on 2017 Assembly Bill 145, which modernized the method required to be used by city governments when providing notice of a special city council meeting to alderpersons.  That bill was enacted into law as 2017 Wisconsin Act 50.]

Senate Bill 230 — Relating to: teacher preparatory programs and granting rule-making authority.

By Senators Kooyenga, L. Taylor, Carpenter, Jacque and Feyen; cosponsored by Representatives L. Myers, Rohrkaste, Stubbs, Ohnstad, Crowley and Subeck.

This bill authorizes the state superintendent of public instruction to approve
a teacher preparatory program if the program requires students to complete the
equivalent of the student teaching required under current law, as determined by the
state superintendent by rule. Under current law, the state superintendent may
approve a teacher preparatory program only if students in the program are required
to complete student teaching that consists of full days for a full semester at a
cooperating elementary or secondary school. Current law further specifies that the
hours, days, and semester of student teaching are determined based on the
cooperating school’s schedule.

The WASB supports Senate Bill 230.

Assembly Bill 51 — Relating to: the minority teacher loan program.

By Representatives Loudenbeck, Fields, Edming, Myers, Ramthun, Rohrkaste, Skowronski, Steffen, Subeck, C. Taylor, Thiesfeldt, Vruwink, Zimmerman and Brostoff; cosponsored by Senators Kooyenga, L. Taylor and Darling.

Current law provides for a minority teacher loan program, under which the Higher
Educational Aids Board (HEAB) may award loans to eligible minority Wisconsin
residents who are enrolled in a Wisconsin institution of higher education in a program
of study leading to a teacher’s license in a discipline identified as a teacher shortage
area. Current law also requires HEAB to forgive 25 percent of the loan for each school
year that the recipient is employed by a public or private school located in the City of
Milwaukee as a full-time teacher in a high-demand area related to the recipient’s
college discipline and receives a rating of proficient or distinguished under the
educator effectiveness system.

This bill expands the definition of minority student and changes the location in which
a loan recipient must be employed in order to qualify for loan forgiveness. Specifically,
the bill provides that a loan recipient may be eligible for forgiveness for each school year
that he or she is employed by a public or private school located in a Wisconsin school
district in which the enrolled pupil membership is comprised of at least 40 percent
minority students, rather than located only in the City of Milwaukee.

An amendment to the bill adopted by the state Assembly (Assembly Amendment 1)
provides that a loan recipient employed by a tribal school located in a qualified school
district, as described above, may also be eligible for loan forgiveness.

The WASB is monitoring AB 51.

Assembly Bill 53 — Relating to: pupil records.

By Representatives Born, Jagler, Plumer, Brooks, Novak, Thiesfeldt, Tusler and Vruwink; cosponsored by Senators Olsen and Darling.

Under current law, pupil records are generally confidential. One exception to
this general rule applies to directory data. Directory data may be disclosed to any
person if a public school notifies parents and guardians of the categories of pupil
information the school has designated as directory data, informs parents and
guardians of an opt out procedure for such disclosures, and provides sufficient time
for parents and guardians to utilize the opt out procedure.

Under current law, the categories of pupil information included in the
definition of “directory data” include the pupil’s name, address, telephone listing,
date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized
activities and sports, dates of attendance, photographs, weight and height as a
member of an athletic team, degrees and awards received, and the school the pupil
attended most recently.

This bill adds the name of a pupil’s parents or guardians to the list of categories of
pupil information that a public school may designate as directory data.

The WASB testified in favor of AB 53 when it was before the Assembly Education Committee.

Assembly Bill 54 Relating to: fire, tornado, and school safety drills for public and private schools.

By Representatives Born, Jagler, Plumer, Ballweg, Dittrich, Mursau, Novak, Pronschinske, Ramthun, Rohrkaste, Skowronski, Spiros, C. Taylor, Thiesfeldt and Vruwink; cosponsored by Senators Olsen, Bernier, Darling, Marklein, Kooyenga and L. Taylor.

Under current law, the person having direct charge of any public or private
school must drill all pupils in what to do in the case of a fire, tornado, and school
safety incident. Current law requires that these drills be conducted without previous
warning.

Under this bill, the person having direct charge of the public or private school may
provide previous warning of any of these drills if he or she determines that providing
previous warning of the drill is in the best interest of pupils attending the school.

The WASB testified in favor of AB 54 when it was before the Assembly Education Committee.

Assembly Bill 195 — Relating to: a license to teach based on reciprocity and granting rulemaking authority.

By Representatives Tranel, Myers, Rohrkaste, Novak, Kurtz, Kulp, Tittl, Edming, Wittke, Zimmerman, Felzkowski, Dittrich, Gundrum, Knodl, Skowronski, Spiros, Wichgers Ramthun and Quinn; cosponsored by Senators Marklein, Kooyenga, Testin, Cowles, Darling and Nass.

This bill creates an alternative method for meeting one requirement for receiving a
Department of Public Instruction (DPI) teaching license based on having an out-of-state
license, referred to as a license based on reciprocity. Under current law, DPI must issue
an initial teaching license based on reciprocity to a person who: (1) holds a teaching
license from another state; (2) is in good standing in that state; and (3) has taught for
at least one year under the out-of-state license.  

The bill allows a person to receive a teaching license based on reciprocity if the
person taught for two semesters under a DPI license or permit, as an alternative
to teaching for one year under the out-of-state license. To meet this qualification,
the school district or charter school where the person taught must notify DPI that
he or she successfully completed two semesters of teaching experience.

An amendment to the bill adopted by the state Assembly (Assembly Amendment 1)
provides that, in addition to a school district or charter school, a cooperative educational
service agency (CESA) or private school employing a person may also notify DPI that
the person successfully completed two semesters of teaching experience, as defined
by DPI rule.

The WASB supports Assembly Bill 195.

The state Assembly is scheduled to meet in floor session on Thursday, Oct. 10. This will be the only day in October the full Assembly will meet.

Read more: View Senate Calendar

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WI School Boards

Yesterday, we held part two of a three-part series on challenging board meetings. We offered suggestions and guidance on helping the public make their voice heard while conducting business effectively. Watch the recording here: vimeo.com/633070174