K-12 education bills currently awaiting the governor’s signature

Although the state Senate will still meet at least one more time this session and we expect it to pass additional bills, here is a list of the bills affecting public K-12 education that have passed both houses and are ready to be delivered to Governor Walker’s desk:

Assembly Bills

  • Assembly Bill 332  School Board Candidate Signatures (Restores local control over the signature requirement for the nomination of candidates to the school board in school districts that contain territory lying within a second class city.)
  • Assembly Bill 780  Hearing Notices to Schools (Requires that a school be given notice of: a) a permanency plan review for a child who has been adjudicated in need of protection or services (CHIPS) has been removed from the home and placed in out-of-home care,  or b) a hearing for an enrolled juvenile who has been adjudicated in need of protection or services (JIPS) or delinquent and that in either case the school be given an opportunity to submit written comments. Any notice given to a school or school district regarding a permanency plan or regarding placement of a child or juvenile in out-of-home care must include the name and contact information for the caseworker or social worker assigned to the case.)
  • Assembly Bill 805  Excludes certain college credit in high school (dual enrollment) programs from the Early College Credit Program (ECCP).  (Under the bill as amended, a course for which a public high school student may earn postsecondary credit is excluded from the ECCP if all of the following apply:
    • The school board of the school district and one of the following have entered into an agreement before, on, or after the effective date of the bill, to provide a college credit in a high school program to academically qualified pupils under which participating pupils may take the course for postsecondary credit:
      o The chancellor of a UW System institution.
      o The president of a private, nonprofit institution.
    • The instruction of pupils in the course takes place in a school building in the school district or a school district facility.
    • The high school teacher who provides instruction in the course is employed by the school district and has been certified or approved to provide the instruction by one of the following:
      o   The participating UW System institution.
      o   The participating private, nonprofit institution.)
  • Assembly Bill 835  Increases sparsity aid payments to eligible districts and increases the low revenue limit ceiling.  (This bill increases sparsity aid payments from $300 per pupil to $400 per pupil for those districts that meet existing eligibility criteria. The bill also increases the low revenue ceiling from $9,100 per pupil to $9,400 per pupil beginning in the 2018-19 school year, and increases the low revenue ceiling by $100 per pupil each school year thereafter until it reaches $9,800 per pupil in the 2022-23 school year.

While the bill would impose limits on a school district’s ability to utilize the low revenue ceiling based on failed operating referenda, as amended, it also allows the following exemptions from those limitations:

o   If a school district that is subject to a low revenue ceiling limitation based on a failed referendum in the 2015-16, 2016-17, or 2017-18 school year, subsequently passes a referendum to exceed its revenue limit in the 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, or 2018-19 school year, then the revenue ceiling limitation does not apply to that school district.
o   If a school district that is subject to a low revenue ceiling limitation based on a failed referendum in any school year subsequently passes a referendum to exceed its revenue limit, then, beginning in the school year immediately following the school year during which the referendum was held, the school district’s revenue ceiling is the statutory amount for that school year.
o   A school district that is subject to a low revenue ceiling limitation in the 2018-19, 2019-20, or 2020-21 school year may seek approval from district electors, via referendum, to set its revenue ceiling at the statutory amount for one or more of those school years.  Such a referendum must be scheduled at the regularly scheduled spring primary or election or partisan primary or general election.
o   The low revenue ceiling limitation created in the bill does not apply to a school district that failed to pass a referendum in the 2017-18 school year if, at the same election, the district’s electors rejected both a referendum to exceed the revenue limit and a referendum to issue general obligation bonds for the purpose of constructing a new school building.)

Senate Bills

  • Senate Bill-159  Nutrition Education  (Existing law regarding educational goals 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 this bill,  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.”)
  • Senate Bill 301 Summer School and Interim Session Classes (Under existing law, online summer school or interim session classes in most of the statutorily required content areas qualify for state aid; however, online summer school or interim classes in health education or in elective classes do not qualify for state aid. Under this bill, online summer or interim session classes that qualify for state aid would include any class that the school board determines would fulfill a high school graduation requirement, including a class in health education. Districts state aid for these classes would be calculated in the same manner as for other qualifying classes,    based on the average daily membership equivalent.)
  • Senate Bill 407  College Credit Transfers (Requires the UW System Board of Regents to establish policies for the transfer of postsecondary credits between institutions within the UW System, including those earned by high school pupils under the Youth Options Program.)
  • Senate Bill 483  Robotics League Participation Grants (Existing law permits a team containing pupils in grades 9 to 12 to apply to receive a grant to participate in a robotics competition. Under this bill, teams containing pupils in grades 6, 7, and 8 would be eligible to apply for such grants.)
  • Senate Bill 494  Publication of School and School District Accountability Reports  (Requires the DPI to publish its annual school and school district accountability reports by November 30, rather than in September as under existing law.)
  • Senate Bill 711  Pilot grant program to help teachers qualify to teach college courses in high schools  (Creates a $500,000 grant program to assist high school teachers by covering tuition expenses for courses taken to meet the qualification requirements of the Higher Learning Commission for eligibility to teach dual enrollment courses. The dual enrollment courses eligible include courses providing credit at a private college, in addition to a technical college or a UW campus or institution. The grant program will be administered by the Higher Educational Aids Board and will sunset in 2021.)