Tag Archives: Local Control

Senate recap: sparsity aid/low revenue ceiling bill passed

The state Senate passed Assembly Bill 835 authored by Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) & Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green, pictured), during its floor session on Tuesday, February 20 on a vote of 31-1.  Sen. Dave Craig (R-Town of Vernon) was the only No vote.  The state Assembly had previously passed the bill on a 91-2 vote and it now goes to Gov. Walker, who has already indicated his support.

Also approved by the state Senate: Continue reading Senate recap: sparsity aid/low revenue ceiling bill passed

Senate to take up sparsity aid/low revenue ceiling bill & others on Feb. 20

The Wisconsin state Senate is scheduled to take up Assembly Bill 835, authored by Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) & Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), during its floor session on Tuesday, February 20.  The state Assembly has already passed AB 835 on a vote of 91-2.  If passed by the state Senate, it goes to Gov. Walker, who has already indicated his support.

The bill increases sparsity aid for eligible districts as well as raising the low revenue ceiling for low-spending school districts. An amendment that was added to the bill by the Joint Finance Committee last week relating to districts with a recent failed operational referendum (see previous post) was also approved by the Assembly.

Also on the February 20th calendar: Continue reading Senate to take up sparsity aid/low revenue ceiling bill & others on Feb. 20

January 2018 Legislative Session Update

The 2017-18 state legislative floor session will soon draw to a close.  The session that began on January 3, 2017 is slated to end on March 22, 2018 and could conclude before then, according to reports from the Capitol.  While three two-week periods—January 16 to 25, February 13 to 22, and March 13 to 22, 2018—are designated as floorperiods, the state Senate and Assembly will not likely be on the floor more than a couple of those days. Continue reading January 2018 Legislative Session Update

“Teacher Protection Act” Bill Introduced

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

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