Senate & Assembly Had a Busy Week

With the end of the session looming, both houses had packed floor calendars this week that included several pieces of K-12 legislation.  This post examines bills that were passed on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

The state Assembly passed the following bills on Tuesday, Feb. 9:

Assembly Bill 478  Pupil Records Disclosure by Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) This bill allows the disclosure of pupil records that are pertinent to addressing the educational needs of a child in foster care or kinship care to the state Department of Children and Families, a county department of human services or social services or a trial organization that is responsible for he care and protection of the pupil.  The bill responds to recent changes in the federal Family Educational Records and Privacy Act (FERPA) governing pupil records.  WASB supported this bill and helped with drafting it.

Assembly Bill 545 Requiring CPR Instruction to Pupils  by Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield) Beginning in the 2017−18 school year, this bill requires school boards, operators of independent charter schools, and governing bodies of private schools to provide instruction in cardiopulmonary and cardiocerebral resuscitation in any health education course offered to pupils in grades 7 to 12 and to provide instruction about automated external defibrillators to pupils in grades 7 to 12.  WASB was neutral on this bill after the American Heart Asssocation agreed to partially fund the costs associated with this mandate.

Assembly Bill 566 Locker Room Privacy by Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Salem) This bill increases the penalties for certain criminal invasions of privacy. Under current law, a person is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if he or she does any of following: 1) installs or uses a surveillance device in any private place to observe any nude person; 2) looks, for sexual arousal or gratification, into a private place that is part of a public accommodation in which a person may reasonably be expected to be nude; or 3) looks, for sexual arousal or gratification, into an individual’s dwelling if an individual is present and has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Under the bill, a person who violates any of these prohibitions is guilty of a Class I felony if the victim is under the age of 18 when the violation occurs. The WASB took no position on this legislation.

Assembly Bill 584 Local Government Property Insurance Fund by Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette)  Under this bill, the local government property insurance fund, which is manged by the Office ofhe Commisisoner of Inusurance, is subject to rate regulations currently applied to private insurers, must levy assessmentsagainst participating local governmental units to maintain the fund assets when the assets fall to a certain threshold ratio with respect to premiums, and must pay dividends when the fund assets reach a certain threshold ratio with respect to premiums.  The WASB took no position on this legislation.

The state Senate passed the following bills on Tuesday, Feb. 9:

Senate Bill 449 Vocational Teaching Licenses by Sen. Alberta Darling  (R-River Hills) This bill creates a new experience-based pathway for obtaining a 3-year initial teaching license to teach a vocational education subject patterned on a similar pathway created in the 2015-17 state budget (Act 55) for “technical education” licenses.  Licenses granted unde this new pathway would not be portable–i.e., they would be valid only in the school district in which the license holder is authorized to teach.  (Under the bill, vocational education subjects include agriculture, child services, clothing services, food services, housing and equipment services, family and consumer education, family and consumer services, home economics−related occupations, health care−related occupations, business education, and marketing education.)   WASB is neutral on this legislation.

Senate Bill 591 School Mental Health Services by Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) This bill prohibits the Department of Health Services (DHS) from requiring a mental health clinic or a licensed treatment professional to designate a school site as a clinic office in order to provide outpatient mental health services at the school. WASB supports this bill.

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