Tag Archives: Local Control

Assembly Education Committee Meets Tomorrow

The Assembly Education Committee meets tomorrow at 1pm to vote on several bills and hold a hearing on a WASB-initiated bill on suspension/expulsion of a pupil relating to firearm possession.

Assembly Bill 496 provides local discretion to suspend or begin expulsion proceedings under specific circumstances in which a student brings a firearm onto school grounds. Continue reading Assembly Education Committee Meets Tomorrow

Competitive Bidding, Financial Literacy Bills Pass Senate

All of the bills mentioned in our previous post that were voted on in the state Senate on October 31 have been approved by that chamber including:

Senate Bill 236 Competitive Bidding Mandate (Sen. Stroebel) This bill would require school districts to utilize statutory competitive, sealed bidding provisions when awarding school construction contracts and increase the dollar thresholds above which counties and municipalities must follow competitive bidding when awarding public works contracts.  (WASB Opposes) [See previous post.] This bill now heads to the Assembly for action by that chamber.  It is important that school leaders contact their State Representatives and ask them to oppose the bill, especially if your district has a local preference component in your bidding policy (which this bill would prohibit). Continue reading Competitive Bidding, Financial Literacy Bills Pass Senate

Rep. Thiesfeldt Circulates Teacher Protection Act

Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), Chairman of the Assembly Education Committee, has circulated his “Teacher Protection Act” bill for co-sponsorship in the state Legislature.  This is the opportunity for other lawmakers to put their names on the bill as supporters. Here are links to the bill draft and co-sponsorship memo.

Based on our member-approved resolutions, the WASB opposes this bill as drafted.  To be clear, all teachers deserve to teach in a safe environment and we appreciate the good intentions behind this bill.  That being said, the bill upsets the administrative chain of command in school districts by allowing teachers to unilaterally suspend and remove students from class without having to adhere to school board disciplinary policies, school district behavioral intervention plans, a student’s individual educational plan or a student’s service plan.

Continue reading Rep. Thiesfeldt Circulates Teacher Protection Act

WASB Makes Case for Local Control of School Board Elections

The WASB testified this week in favor of a pair of companion bills (Senate Bill 260 and Assembly Bill 332) aimed at retaining local control over how many nomination signatures are required in school board races and, in  particular, easing the statutory nomination paper signature requirements to run school board seats in certain small school districts in which a portion has been annexed by a second (2nd) class city.

The WASB worked with Assembly Education Committee chair, state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac, pictured at left), to help draft these bills on behalf of the North Fond du Lac School Board, which requested the legislation.

State Sen. Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac, pictured at right) co-authored the bills.

Continue reading WASB Makes Case for Local Control of School Board Elections

Unfunded Mandate Update: Competitive Bidding & Construction Notices

The Senate version of a bill (Senate Bill 236) that would require school districts to use the competitive bidding process on certain school construction projects has been scheduled for a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 3rd and committee vote Thursday, Oct. 5th in the Senate Local Government Committee. The bill is authored by state Sen. Duey Stroebel  and state Rep. Robert Brooks (R’s-Saukville).

The WASB testified in opposition to the Assembly version (Assembly Bill 307) in July.  Our position was  determined based on support for local control and noted that the bill would limit or eliminate local board discretion and flexibility  to use various project delivery methods for school construction. Continue reading Unfunded Mandate Update: Competitive Bidding & Construction Notices

JFC Budget Includes School Takeover Provisions Aimed at Racine Unified

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) budget includes modifications to the Opportunity Schools Partnership Program (OSPP) school takeover law that are aimed at the Racine Unified School District (RUSD). The school district is not mentioned by name in the language of the motion adopted by the JFC but that language describes a school district with characteristics that currently apply only to RUSD.  (Statutory language of the budget bill will be finalized in the next few days, before the JFC-approved version goes first to the Assembly, then the Senate, for votes on the floor of those houses next week.) 

Under current law, the OSPP law applies to a school district that: (1) has a pupil membership is greater than 15,000; (2) was assigned to the lowest performance category on the accountability reports  (report cards) published for the district in the 2 most recent school years; and (3) received intradistrict transfer aid  in the same 2 most recent school years. Continue reading JFC Budget Includes School Takeover Provisions Aimed at Racine Unified

Appleton Column on Referenda Restriction Bill

Please check out a column in the Appleton Post Crescent written by Appleton Area School Board member Jim Bowman and former AASD CFO and current advisor Don Hietpas. This is a great example of school board/district advocacy and one other boards can use as a model.

The column argues against the bill currently being considered by the state legislature that would eliminate recurring operating referenda, limit multi-year non-recurring operating referenda to 5 years, and eliminate referendum-approved revenue authority that was approved in any previous recurring referendum five years after the effective date of the bill (Referendum Restriction Bill Is Worse Than You Thought).  Great job Jim and Don! Continue reading Appleton Column on Referenda Restriction Bill