During the summer and fall of each even-numbered year, the Joint Legislative Council selects a number of subjects for study from suggestions submitted by legislators. Often these topics are issues that are difficult to resolve in the regular course of legislative business or involve issues that legislators believe need to be considered more carefully and in-depth before legislation is introduced and debate ensues.
This year, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Legislative Council recommend establishment of nine interim study committees and distributed a paper ballot to the Joint Legislative Council Committee members for approval of the proposed 2018 study committees. The ballot is due back on April 13.
Two of the proposed interim study committees may be of special interest to school board members and other school leaders. A brief description of each of these two committees and the proposed scope of its charge are provided below.
- Study Committee on the Investment and Use of the School Trust Funds [Representative Terry Katsma (R-Oostburg), Chair, and Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), Vice Chair]
Proposed Scope: The Study Committee is directed to review the statutes governing the investment of the trust funds administered by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), including the loan programs administered by BCPL. The committee shall assess whether current statutes adequately ensure the effective investment and appropriate use of the proceeds of the funds, and recommend legislation for necessary changes.
- Study Committee on Identification and Management of Dyslexia
[Representative Bob Kulp (R-Stratford), Chair, and Senator Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset), Vice Chair]
Proposed Scope: The Study Committee is directed to review current screening, identification, school intervention, and treatment protocols for dyslexia in K-12 schools; to examine the effects of current state statutes and regulations on literacy outcomes for students with dyslexia; and to evaluate the effects of dyslexia on literacy outcomes in the state. The committee shall study recent research on evidence-based instructional techniques for students with dyslexia; determine the components and costs of successful dyslexia education practices and laws in other states; and identify institutional obstacles to academic attainment for these students. The committee shall consider legislation to implement screening for characteristics of dyslexia in early grades; to ensure that reading instruction and intervention practices incorporate relevant research findings from the University of Wisconsin; to improve the partnership between parents, educators, counselors, and others on early identification and effective interventions for dyslexic learners; and to enhance statewide access to updated resources and training on dyslexic education.
Each committee approved by the Joint Legislative Council is charged to study its issue and recommend legislative solutions as needed. Study committees provide a rare opportunity for the public, including school board members, to have input and to be directly involved in shaping public policy.
Study committees generally meet in Madison three to six times during the interim period between legislative sessions and ultimately report their recommendations, in the form of bill drafts, to the full Legislative Council for approval and introduction in the next legislative session.
We will provide more information about these study committees, including how interested school leaders could be nominated to serve as a member, once the committees are approved. Watch this blog for updates as they become available.