Specific details of Governor Walker’s Special Session School Safety Package are becoming available. We anticipate that copies of the six bills that comprise the package will be posted on the Legislature’s website by tomorrow (Friday, March 16) afternoon, once the paper ballot vote in each house on introducing the package of six bills has been tallied.
The heart of the package is the creation of a $100 million grant program, to be administered by a new Office of School Safety within the state Department of Justice (DOJ). The director of this new office would be appointed by the Attorney General. The office would award grants to improve school safety to school districts, operators of independent charter schools, governing bodies of private schools, and tribal schools. Although the money would be provided in the 2017-18 fiscal year, it would be provided under a continuing appropriation, so that any money that was not spent during the that period would carry over.
Continue reading Details of Governor’s Special Session school safety package emerge
The 2017-19 State Budget made significant changes to teacher and administrator licensure in Wisconsin, including eliminating expiration dates for teaching and administrator licenses and restoring a system of life-time licenses.
In place of the existing licensure framework, the budget act requires the DPI to issue provisional three-year licenses for new educators, administrators, and pupil services professionals, with a lifetime license granted after the completion of six semesters of successful experience, as certified by the school boards where the person works. Continue reading Public Hearings Set on New Teacher and Administrator Licensing Rules
The newly-formed Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding will hold its first meeting—an informational public hearing—Thursday, Dec. 14 at 10:00 AM in Room 412 East of the State Capitol. (View meeting notice.)
The Commission will hear a presentation from the Department of Public Instruction and the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Testimony will be from invited speakers only. Continue reading School Funding Commission to Hold First Meeting Dec. 14
With property tax bills set to be mailed this week, school property taxes are likely to come under scrutiny once again.
Although per pupil revenue limits on school districts meant to hold down property taxes were unchanged by the Legislature, 2017-18 school levies totaled $4.945 billion, a slight increase of $87.1 million (1.8%) over the previous year, according to Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) figures, and below the rate of inflation.
That increase in gross school levies will be more or less offset by an $87 million increase in the school levy credit, through which the state directly reduces the net tax due on taxpayers’ bills. Continue reading Statewide School Tax Levies Up Less Than Inflation
Gov. Scott Walker signed a group of bills on Friday, Dec. 8, including Senate Bill 253 authored by Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield) that will implement in state statutes provisions in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) intended to prohibit aiding and abetting sexual abuse of children/students by school personnel.
The bill would specify in state law that it is immoral conduct for a DPI licensee (e.g., a teacher, administrator or HR director, etc.) to assist a school employee, contractor, or agent to obtain a new job in a school or school district if the licensee knows or has reason to believe that the person committed a sex offense against a student or a minor. A violation could subject the licensee to potential loss or his or her DPI license. Continue reading Bill to Expand Immoral Conduct to Include Aiding & Abetting Sexual Abuse Signed Into Law
Governor Scott Walker signed six education-related bills into law today (Nov. 30) during a ceremony in the Governor’s office in the State Capitol. They included:
Senate Bill 382, relating to school employee tuberculosis (TB) screening;
Current law requires school districts to condition the employment of school personnel who come in contact with children or who handle or prepare food for children upon a physical examination by a licensed physician that includes a chest X-ray or a tuberculin test. The cost of such examinations, including X-rays and tuberculin tests, must be paid out of school district funds. Current law also permits a school district to require employees to undergo additional physical examinations at intervals determined by the school district. Continue reading Governor Signs Six Education Bills Into Law
As we posted previously, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released the school and district accountability report cards showing 82% of public and private schools in Wisconsin met or exceeded expectations for educating students by earning at least three stars. Over 95 percent of the state’s public school districts earned a three-star rating or higher.
From the DPI: Continue reading Report Cards Released; Show High Score Fluctuations for Some Schools/Districts