Bill Draft Would Create Pilot Program for Tracking Crime & Student Safety Incidents

A bill draft circulating in the Wisconsin Legislature by state Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and state Rep. Ken Skowronski (R-Franklin) would create a pilot program for tracking crime and student safety incidents within public school districts.

The program is similar to federal reporting requirements for colleges and universities participating in federally subsidized student loan programs. DPI would develop and operate the program during the 2016-17 school year in one urban school district, one suburban school district, and one rural school district.

School districts will submit two reports to DPI that include anonymous, aggregate data about student safety incidents that occur on school district property, on transportation provided by the school district, and at a school district sanctioned event. Participation by school districts will be voluntary. DPI may spend up to $25,000 to develop and implement the pilot program.

Schools currently must keep track of incidents resulting in suspension or expulsion.

The memo from the lawmakers states:

Parents, teachers, administrators, and policy makers are entitled to public safety information to facilitate informed decision making. The pilot program provides DPI and local school districts information to study methods for reporting and analyzing the data.

This proposal comes on the heels of Assembly Bill 517 that would require all high schools to report certain crime data starting in the 2017-18 school year and for that data to be included on school report cards.