The Co-Chairs of the Legislature’s powerful budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) have announced they will work off of Governor Walker’s budget proposal in all areas with the exception of the Department of Transportation.
State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) & state Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) also announced the removal of non-fiscal policy items from the budget, including the governor’s proposal to eliminate the required minimum hours of instruction for public schools.
WASB has been urging lawmakers to work from the governor’s budget proposal which invests $650 million in increased funding to public schools. We feel using this as the starting point gives us the best chance of these increases being approved by the state Legislature.
The Co-Chairs also announced a list of items that they are removing from the budget as non-fiscal (not budget-related) policy items that should be considered as separate legislation, including provisions to:
- Repeal the minimum hours of instruction required by state law.
- Repeal requirement for monthly school board meetings and date/time for annual meetings.
- Repeal maximum duration limitation on contracts for school district administrators (i.e., superintendents), business officials and principals.
- Repeal of two-year automatic renewal/rollover of administrator contracts if no notice of intent to non-renew is given.
- Repeal of statutory provisions governing contracts of personnel (HR) directors and curriculum directors.
- Prohibit the DPI from requiring an annual operating budget submission from continuously participating private voucher schools.
- Allow school districts to contract with other districts to share services in various areas.
- Clarify that school districts may compensate student teachers.
- Delete current law requiring school districts to furnish a full and complete statement showing the bonded and all other indebtedness of the district, the purposes for which debt was incurred, and all accrued interest remaining unpaid, whenever required by the Secretary of State.
- Exclude school districts from current law requiring local units of government to maximize the purchase of recycled materials, when possible, and specifying the minimum average recycled or covered content of all paper purchased by local units of government (currently equal to a minimum of at least 40%).
- Exempt school districts from current law requiring local units of government to award contracts for materials, supplies, or equipment on the basis of life cycle cost estimates when appropriate.