Several K-12 bills to be taken up in Assembly Feb. 20-21

The state Assembly is scheduled to be in session Tuesday, Feb. 20 through Thursday, Feb. 22.  A proposed calendar for Tuesday & Wednesday has been released including the following bills related to K-12 education:

Assembly Bill 215: Education about nutrition.

Current law requires school boards to provide pupils in public schools with instruction
about the vitamin content of food and the food and health values of dairy products. Under the bill, this instruction on nutrition would include knowledge about the nutritive value of foods and the role of a nutritious diet in promoting health, preventing chronic disease, and maintaining a healthy weight, based on information outlined in the federal publication “Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” Under the bill, the 0.5 health education credit required for graduation would have to include a nutrition education component based on generally accepted standards or the Wisconsin model academic standards.

The WASB initially opposed this bill but changed our position to neutral pending the adoption of Assembly Amendment 1 which removes the requirement to include a nutrition education component in the 0.5 health education credit required for graduation.

Assembly Bill 564: Robotics league participation grants.

This bill expands the category of teams eligible to receive a grant to participate
in a robotics competition to include teams containing pupils in grades 6, 7, and 8.
Current law permits a team containing pupils in grades 9 to 12 to apply to receive
such a grant.

Assembly Bill 569: Publication of school and school district accountability reports.

This bill requires the Department of Public Instruction to publish its annual
school and school district accountability report by November 30, rather than in
September. The school accountability report provides information about pupil
achievement in reading and mathematics and rates of high school graduation,
among other measures.

This bill also changes the date by which DPI must determine whether a school
is eligible to be placed in the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program. Under
current law, a school is eligible to be placed in the OSPP based in part on how the
school performed on the two most recent accountability reports prepared for the
school and DPI must make this determination by October 15. This bill changes the
date to November 30.

The WASB supports this bill as it gives DPI a more realistic timeline.

Assembly Bill 745Participation in an apprenticeship program by a high school senior and granting rule-making authority.

Under current law, any individual 16 years of age or over may enter into an
apprentice contract whereby the individual is to receive from his or her employer, in
consideration for the individual’s services, instruction in any trade, craft, or
business. That instruction must include a minimum number of hours of related
classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

Under the bill, a high school senior may enter into an apprentice contract if the
school district in which the student is enrolled does all of the following:

1. Certifies that the student is expected to graduate high school no later than
the end of the current school year.

2. Certifies that the student’s proposed on-the-job training schedule allows
adequate time for the student to complete any high school graduation requirements no later than the end of the current school year.

3. Agrees to award the student high school credit for the hours of related
instruction and on-the-job training the student completes during the first year of
the contract.

At the end of the first year of the contract, the student must have earned his or
her high school diploma or its equivalent in order to continue in the apprenticeship


Assembly Bill 907: Requiring school boards to provide instruction about drug abuse awareness and prevention, etc.

This bill makes a number of changes related to substance abuse counseling and treatment. Also included is a provision modifying an existing mandate so as to require school boards to provide instruction on prescription drug-related abuse.

Current law requires school boards to provide instruction about the effects of controlled substances and alcohol on the human system, but a school board may not require a pupil to receive that instruction if the pupil’s parent or guardian files a written objection. Current law also requires school boards to provide instruction to pupils on the relationship between highway safety and controlled substances and the relationship between youth suicide and controlled substances.

This bill specifies that the references to controlled substances in these requirements include prescription drugs.