Governor’s Budget Provides “Flexibilities” to School Boards, Districts

2017-state-budget  Among the hundreds of items included in Gov. Walker’s proposed 2017-19 state budget are a number of provisions intended to provide “flexibility” to school boards and districts by repealing or modifying certain mandates on preK-12 education.

The governor’s proposed budget would:

  • Repeal the required minimum number of hours of instruction at particular grade levels.  Current law specifies at least 437 hours of direct pupil instruction in kindergarten, at least 1,050 hours of direct pupil instruction in grades 1 to 6 and at least 1,137 hours of direct pupil instruction in grades 7 to 12;
  • Repeal the requirement to hold a school board meeting at least once each month;
  • Eliminate mandatory two year contracts for school district administrators, business managers and school principals;
  • Eliminate the required hour and date for annual school district meetings. Instead, each school board would determine the date and time of the annual meeting unless the electors at the annual meeting determine to hold the annual meeting at a different date and time. Under this change, as under current law, no annual meeting may be held before May 15 or after October 31;
  • Permit school districts to determine the number of spaces available for open enrollment students at any time prior to the first Monday in February, rather than specifically at the January meeting of the school board.
  • Eliminate the current requirement to purchase recycled or recyclable materials, including the requirement that at least 40 percent of paper products purchased by a school district in a year contain recycled content, and mandate the use of life-cycle cost estimates when purchasing material, supplies or equipment; and
  • Eliminate the requirement to submit statements of indebtedness to the Secretary of State upon request.