Education Committee Schedules Vote on Filling School Board Vacancies Bill; Hearing on Bill Related to School District Budget Summaries

The Senate Committee on Education, chaired by state Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), has scheduled a committee vote on SB 244 related to filling school board vacancies at 1:00 PM on Sept. 29.  The Assembly version of this bill (AB 325) is expected to be debated by the Assembly tomorrow.

In addition to the vote, the committee will also hold a public hearing on:

Senate Bill 234 Relating to: the school district budget summary, annual audit, and annual report. By Senators Harsdorf and Stroebel; cosponsored by Representatives Jarchow, Ballweg, Brandtjen, Knudson, Macco, Murphy, Rodriguez, Steffen and R. Brooks.

Under state law, school districts are required to publish a budget summary along with a public notice of the time and place of the public hearing on their budget.  DPI currently provides a template for school districts to use in compiling and publishing their budget summary.

In response to complaints that the template currently provided by DPI can be challenging for taxpayers to interpret, this proposal would require the Department to prepare and make available a second template as an option for school districts to use that provides a more user-friendly breakdown of revenues and expenditures.

Additionally, the bills would also provide that school districts’ annual audit and annual district report be posted on their websites.

Senate Bill 254 Relating to: the Achievement Gap Reduction program. By Senator Olsen; cosponsored by Representative Czaja

Under this trailer bill to 2015 Wisconsin Act 53, an AGR contract must require a school board to implement one or more of the three applicable strategies (small class sizes, instructional coaches, or one-on-one tutoring) in each class in each participating grade at each participating school (instead of one or more in current law).  The bill also delays the first annual evaluation of the AGR program by one school year so DPI must first arrange for an evaluation of the AGR program in the 2018-19 school year.