Assembly Bill 693, also known as the “Teacher Protection Act”, has been introduced in the Assembly and referred to the Judiciary Committee. Seem like a strange committee choice? The bill is authored by Education Committee Chairman Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and new Assembly rules aim to avoid having bills authored by committee chairs go to the chair’s own committee (Rep. Thiesfeldt is a member of the Judiciary Committee, but not the chair). No Senate companion bill was introduced and there are no state Senators signed on to the bill as cosponsors.
The WASB is opposed to this bill as drafted based on our member-approved resolutions (see below for specifics). Below is a summary of the provisions of AB 693: Continue reading “Teacher Protection Act” Bill Introduced
Two bills dealing with student assessments and authored by state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) chair of the Assembly Education Committee were passed by the Assembly on Thursday, Nov. 9.
Assembly Bill 300 would require each school board to prepare a summary written in commonly understood language that includes all of the following: Continue reading Testing Notification & Opt-Out Bills Pass State Assembly
The Wheeler Report, a Capitol-based, paid subscription news service that provides subscribers with e-mail reports about current goings-on at the State Capitol, reported this morning on a piece of legislation under development by Assembly Education Committee chairman, state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), which Rep. Thiesfeldt has labelled the “Teacher Protection Act.”
The WASB has been engaged in what we have understood to be strictly confidential discussions with Rep. Thiesfeldt and his staff regarding our concerns about this legislation. Now that this proposal has become the subject of public news reports, we are sharing what has been reported because we believe this subject matter will be of interest to many school boards and administrators. Continue reading Wheeler Report: Rep. Thiesfeldt Drafting “Teacher Protection Act”
The Assembly Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), held a public hearing August 3 (Watch on WI Eye) on two bills:
Assembly Bill 398, authored by Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) and sponsored by Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) would expand the scope of online summer or interim session classes that qualify for state aid to include classes the school board determines fulfill either a statutory graduation requirement in health education or that meet its own requirements to count toward the number of credits the school board requires for graduation. Under the bill, online classes in any combination of vocational education, foreign languages, fine arts, and other courses that the school board determines meet its requirements for high school graduation would be eligible for state aid. Continue reading WASB Testifies on Summer School Funding & Firearm Safety Curriculum Bills
School board members, district administrators, business officials and others came to the Capitol June 15 to testify at concurrent Senate and Assembly public hearings on bills that are part of an overall package that would severely restrict the ability of school districts to go to referendum and gain additional revenue authority.
The Assembly Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), heard three of the bills and the Senate Government Operations Committee, chaired by Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville), heard two. The overall theme of testimony presented by school leaders was these bills represent unwanted and unnecessary state intrusion and micromanagement into how local school board conduct their fiscal affairs. In addition, a case was made that these bills will have serious negative consequences for many school districts, including many small, rural districts experiencing declining enrollment. Continue reading School Board Members, Administrators Make Case Against Referendum Restrictions
Assembly Bill 268 is one of three bills designed to make it harder for school districts to pass referenda up for a public hearing tomorrow in the Assembly Education Committee. This bill would eliminate recurring operating referenda to raise revenue authority on a permanent basis. It would also limit multi-year non-recurring operating referenda to 5 years. Finally, and possibly most troubling, the bill eliminates referendum-approved revenue authority from a school district’s base budget that was approved in any previous recurring referendum five years after the effective date of the bill.
In other words, any school district that ever passed a recurring referendum would have that revenue authority cut off after five years and would then have to pass non-recurring referenda perpetually at least every five years just to retain what voters had already approved. According to a fiscal estimate of the bill prepared by DPI, this would amount to a cut in revenue authority of $178.5 million of previously approved referenda in 130 school districts. This amount figures in recurring referenda approved going back to September 1996.
Needless to say, the WASB strongly opposes this bill and has prepared testimony for the committee hearing tomorrow. For more information on the bill and our position on it, you can view the WASB’s testimony HERE.