Senate to take up sparsity aid/low revenue ceiling bill & others on Feb. 20

The Wisconsin state Senate is scheduled to take up Assembly Bill 835, authored by Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) & Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), during its floor session on Tuesday, February 20.  The state Assembly has already passed AB 835 on a vote of 91-2.  If passed by the state Senate, it goes to Gov. Walker, who has already indicated his support.

The bill increases sparsity aid for eligible districts as well as raising the low revenue ceiling for low-spending school districts. An amendment that was added to the bill by the Joint Finance Committee last week relating to districts with a recent failed operational referendum (see previous post) was also approved by the Assembly.

Also on the February 20th calendar:

Senate Bill 711: a pilot grant program to support college courses taught in high
schools and making an appropriation.
The WASB supports this bill based on Resolution 3.63 (e). The bill was amended to have the grant administered by the Higher Educational Aids Board rather than the UW System Office of Educational Opportunities.  The WASB supports this change.

Senate Bill 483: 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. The Assembly companion bill is set to be taken up in the Assembly, also on Feb. 20.

Assembly Bill 332: the signature requirement for nomination of candidates to
school board in school districts that contain territory lying within a second class city.
The WASB supports and helped develop this bill (see previous post). The bill has already passed the Assembly.

Assembly Bill 780: notice to a school of a permanency review or hearing, notice to a
school district of a foster home or group home license or out-of-home care placement, and transfer of pupil records.
This bill changes the requirements for notifying schools in the process of placing a child in out-of-home care.  It adds the child’s school to the list of entities that receive notice of the review or hearing on the child’s proposed permanency plan and that may have the opportunity to submit written comments to the court on the proposed plan, but may not otherwise participate in the review or appear at the hearing.   AB 780 is is one of 13 bills developed by the Task Force on Foster Care (see previous post.) The WASB registered in support of this bill.