WASB-backed flexibility in state law helps districts dealing with flooding

A recent story from Wisconsin Public Radio details how schools being impacted by flooding are using flexibility provided by a 2013 state law change that eliminated the 180 days of instruction mandate.  WASB actively worked to change the law based on our member-approved resolutions which sought greater local control and flexibility.

“The law says they have to be providing direct instruction for a certain amount of hours in a calendar year. How they actually go about achieving that is up to the district,” said Tom McCarthy, spokesman for the state Department of Public Instruction.

Prior to the switch, schools were required to be in session for a certain number of days in a year.

McCarthy said the newer policy means schools can add hours to the beginning or end of the school day without permission from the state.

Because of that flexibility, any school affected by flooding can delay their school year and still meet state minimums for classroom time.

WASB Resolution 1.24 Hours of Instruction states: The WASB supports legislation to allow local school districts maximum latitude in determining what meets the total hours of direct pupil instruction required by the statutes in order not to be penalized by a reduction in state aid.

Read More: School Years Delayed By Flooding Can Use Recent State Law Change (WPR)