Assembly education committee to hold hearing on teacher prep bill; vote on consolidation aid

The Assembly Committee on Education will hold a public hearing and an executive session Thursday, July 11 at 9:30 a.m. in Room 417 North (GAR Hall) of the State Capitol.

The committee is chaired by state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and is scheduled to take public testimony on:

Assembly Bill 232 relating to: teacher preparatory programs and granting rule-making authority.

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau: This bill authorizes the state superintendent of public instruction to approve a teacher preparatory program if the program requires students to complete the equivalent of the student teaching required under current law, as determined by the state superintendent by rule. Under current law, the state superintendent may approve a teacher preparatory program only if students in the program are required to complete student teaching that consists of full days for a full semester at a cooperating elementary or secondary school. Current law further specifies that the hours, days, and semester of student teaching are determined based on the cooperating school’s schedule.

The DPI is supportive of the bill.  The WASB is monitoring this bill but has not yet taken a position on it.

The committee will also take a vote on recommending the following bill for passage:

Assembly Bill 223 relating to: supplemental state aid for consolidated school districts and making an appropriation.

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau: This bill creates a new aid program for certain consolidated school districts. To be eligible for this aid, the consolidation must take effect on or after July 1, 2020, and the consolidated school district’s maximum allowable levy rate must be greater than the lowest levy rate of the school districts that were consolidated to create the school district (underlying school districts).

If a consolidated school district satisfies the above-described criteria, in the first school year following the consolidation, the consolidated school district is entitled to aid in an amount equal to the consolidated school district’s equalized value multiplied by the difference between the maximum allowable levy rate of the consolidated school district and the lowest levy rate of the underlying school districts (base aid amount). In the second school year following the consolidation, the consolidated school district is entitled to aid in an amount equal to 80 percent of the base aid amount. …The amount of the aid continues to be reduced by 20 percent each school year so that in the sixth school year following the consolidation, the consolidated school district no longer receives this aid.

The WASB supports this bill as it provides additional aid for districts that voluntarily consolidate. The additional aid would received under the revenue limits, thus it would reduce property taxes.  Further, it  would ensure (subject to the phase-out) that no property within the consolidated district would be taxed at a higher tax rate than the lowest tax rate among the consolidating districts.