These weekly updates are to inform those interested in public education in Mineral Point what is happening that may impact school stakeholders. These updates are designed to be informative, factual, and non-partisan.
Additional information can be found from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards at: https://wasblegupdate.wordpress.com/
Legislative Update 12/18/15
- Dec. 18: The Assembly Education Committee held a day-long hearing on several proposals yesterday at the state Capitol.
Assembly Bill 481 – Restrictions on referenda and other school funding mechanisms. Most of the attention went to this bill with most in attendance testifying in opposition to the bill including a strong presence from school board members and administrators.
Assembly Bill 581 – Licenses to teach vocational education subjects. WASB testified as neutral on this bill. It has concerns about this piecemeal approach and calls for a more comprehensive look at the issue.
Assembly Bill 517 – Reporting crimes and other incidents that occur on school property, on school transportation, and at school sanctioned events. WASB testified in opposition to this proposal raising several questions and concerns with the potential for misleading statistics and the burden on schools for complying with this unfunded mandate.
- Dec. 17: Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 227, a bill that will allow contractors to directly purchase construction materials on behalf of schools and other tax-exempt clients without paying the sales tax, into law as 2015 Wisconsin Act 126. WASB thanks state Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and state Rep. Bob Kulp (R-Stratford) for authoring this legislation and successfully shepherding it through the legislative process with strong bipartisan support.
- Dec. 16: The office of Assembly Education Committee Chair Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) confirmed there will be no committee vote on Assembly Bill 469, Changing Room Bill, this week. It was unclear when or if a vote will be scheduled.
- Dec. 15: The author of Assembly Bill 469, state Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum), has made public an amendment to his proposal that would require public school boards to designate school restrooms and changing rooms (i.e., locker or shower rooms) accessible by multiple students as for the exclusive use of either “males” or “females.” Assembly Substitute Amendment 1 would allow schools to open a gender-neutral multi-use bathroom, provided it has stalls with floor-to-ceiling partitions or walls. This change comes in response to questions raised by certain legislators at the public hearing on the bill.
- Dec. 15: The author of Assembly Bill 481, state Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh), has introduced an amendment to his proposal to restrict when school boards may schedule school referenda and use certain types of borrowing.
Assembly Amendment 1 would reduce the bill’s original two-year (730-day) proposed moratorium period on additional referenda, bonding and borrowing following a failed referendum to one year (365 days). It also removes restrictions on short-term borrowing proposed as part of the original bill. All other restrictions on borrowing (e.g., promissory notes, state trust fund loans, etc.) would remain in the bill. While these two changes can be viewed as positive changes they do not change the WASB’s opposition to this bill.