Bills We’re Watching
2019-21 Legislative Session
Human Trafficking (AB22). Establishes industry-specific materials on the recognition and prevention of human trafficking for use in the instruction in driver education courses that provide instruction in the operation of commercial motor vehicles. This will affect new drivers only.
American Indian Studies (AB-105).Model academic standards for American Indian studies.
American Indian Instruction (AB-106). Informational materials related to a school board’s obligations to provide instruction on American Indians.
American Indian Studies (AB-107). The American Indian studies requirement for teacher licensure.
Private School American Indian Instruction (AB-108). Requires private schools participating in a parental choice program and independent charter schools to provide instruction in American Indian history, culture, and tribal sovereignty.
American Indian Instruction (AB-109). Requires instruction in American Indian studies in the elementary and high school grades.
Dyslexia Guidebook (AB-110). Develops a guidebook related to dyslexia and related conditions.
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education (AB-377/SB-347) “Erin’s Law” would require the DPI to develop a child sexual abuse prevention policy and education for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. The proposal was referred to the Senate Committee on Education and the Assembly Committee on Children and Families.
Character Education (AB 149 / SB 138). Authorizes the Department of Public Instruction to award grants to school districts for teachers, pupil service professionals, principals, and school district administrators to participate in professional development trainings in character education. Under the bill, DPI is authorized to make these grants for 24 months. The Senate Education Committee set a public hearing. The Assembly Education Committee has not yet taken up the bill.
School Report Cards. (AB 67 / SB 64). Requires school report cards to include the percentage of pupils participating in music, dance, drama, and visual arts, would be amended to clarify that changes would begin with the 2020-21 school year under an amendment offered by Rep. Joel Kitchens. Under the bill, DPI would include this information for each high school and school district, along with the statewide percentage of participation in each subject. The bill specifies that this information may not be used to evaluate a school or district’s performance. Passed Assembly, currently in Senate Education Committee.
Minority Teacher Program. (AB 51/SB 55). Provides for statewide expansion of a program offering loan forgiveness for minority teachers who teach in schools that have at least 40 percent minority students. Right now, only teachers in Milwaukee schools are eligible for the program. Passed Assembly, Public Hearing Held by Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families.
Special Education Licensure (AB 164 / SB 183). This bill is almost identical to one that was circulated a couple of years back. This makes exceptions for particular license area, which could open the doors to more carving out of exceptions in specific licensing areas and lowers the standard for special education teachers, those teachers who serve Wisconsin’s most intellectually vulnerable population. Passed Assembly, Currently in Senate Education Committee.
Out-of-State Teacher License Reciprocity (AB 195 / SB 184). Would change the way a person who has been educated and licensed to teach out of state can become licensed to teach in the state of Wisconsin. This bill would continue to allow a person who is educated and licensed out of state to begin teaching in Wisconsin with a 1 Year License with Stipulations. After two successful semesters, that person would then be eligible for a License Based on Reciprocity. Furthermore, this bill would move the License Based on Reciprocity to a Tier II Provisional License. Passed Assembly, Currently in Senate Education Committee.
Conversion Therapy (AB-111). Prohibits certain mental health providers from engaging in conversion therapy with a minor. Conversion therapy is any practice that seeks to change an individual’s gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation. In addition, the bill specifies that a violation of the prohibition in the bill by a mental health provider is grounds for professional discipline by the appropriate credentialing board. \
Changing requirements of American Indian studies for teacher licensure (AB107). Modifies the requirements related to American Indian students for teacher licensure. The language is changed from requiring “instruction in the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of the federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands located in Wisconsin” to “the culture, tribal sovereignty, and contemporary and historical significant events of the federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands located in this state.” This bill was prepared for the Joint Legislative Council’s Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations.
Voucher School Virtual Hours (SB111).
Apprenticeship Grants (SB-044). Provides grants to technical college students for apprenticeship expenses.
Youth Apprenticeship Program (SB-072). A hearing was held on this bill requiring certain occupational areas to be included in the youth apprenticeship program.
Youth Apprenticeships (SB-088). Youth apprenticeship programs.
Pupil Records (SB57 / AB53). Expands pupil information allowed to be disclosed by a public school to include the names of parents or guardians. Under current law, the information that may be included in “directory data” that may be disclosed to any person (as long as a public school notifies families of the categories of information and informs families an opt out procedure) includes pupil name, address, telephone, date/place of birth, major field of study, activity/sport participation, attendance dates, photographs, weight and height as member of athletic team, degrees/awards, and most recent school attended. School districts may include all, some or none of the categories to designate as directory data.
Banning the ‘R’ Word. Bans terms such as “mentally retarded” from administrative rules. Governor Tony Evers recently issued an executive order to remove “mentally retarded,” “mental retardation” and “handicapped” from the rules, but the Republican sponsor of the bill continued to bring the bill forward, saying the legislative action would be a permanent solution because an executive order could be rescinded by a later governor. Evers has indicated he would sign the bill if it gets to his desk. PASSED ASSEMBLY + SENATE.
Safety Drills. (AB 54 / SB 56) Under this bill, the person having direct charge of the public or private school may provide previous warning of any of these drills if he or she determines
that providing previous warning of the drill is in the best interest of pupils attending the school. Currently, no advance notice is allowed. Passed Assembly, Currently in Senate Education Committee.