Reading Curriculum. (AB321 / SB329) Requires phonics and “science of reading” curriculum and lays out a series of requirements including the creation of a new office within the DPI and a commission on reading curriculum with appointed members from the Assembly and Senate majority leaders and the DPI. Signed into law as Act 20.
Financial Literacy. (AB109/SB115) Requiring one-half credit of personal financial literacy for high school graduation. Has received public hearing in Senate Ed Committee, has been referred to Assembly Ed Committee. View Bill History
Remove Protections for Educators. (AB308/SB305) This bill would remove public elementary and secondary schools, private schools and tribal schools from the list of institutions for which an employee is protected from prosecution for an obscene materials violation. Under current law, they are protected against liability to prosecution for an obscene materials violation for acts or omissions while in their capacities.
Shared Revenue. (AB245 / SB301). This sweeping agreement boosts state and local funding for municipalities and public schools but also supplies historic taxpayer funding for unaccountable private voucher schools, takes away local control by allowing politicians to determine reading curriculum and forces armed officers into Milwaukee Public Schools. The public school funding component reimburses special education costs at 33 percent, while private school voucher students receive 90 percent tax funding. Signed into law.
Tier 1 Licensure. (AB 251 / SB 253) A clinically trained marriage and family therapist would be eligible for Tier 1 Licensure as a social worker. This bill will most likely benefit rural school districts that have difficulty filling pupil services positions, but some have questioned whether it reduces the standards for licensing. Referred to Senate Committee on Mental Health, Substance Abuse Prevention, Children & Families. Monitoring
Sexual misconduct against a pupil by a school staff member (AB341/SB333). This bill adds certain crimes to the automatic revocation provision and adds a lifetime bar on reinstatement for certain crimes. Under current law, a person’s license is automatically revoked if he or she is convicted of a Class H felony or higher that is a crime against life or bodily security or a crime against a child. This bill adds that a person’s license is automatically revoked if he or she is convicted of certain crimes against children that are Class I felonies, including sexual misconduct, certain crimes against privacy, and theft of property from a school. Under the bill, a person’s license may not be reinstated if the person is convicted of a crime against a child that is a Class H felony or higher, sexual misconduct against a pupil, and certain crimes against privacy.
Stopping for School Buses (AB 313/SB313). This bill increases the penalties for failing to stop for a school bus that is stopped and displaying flashing red lights. Current law requires motorists approaching a school bus stopped on a public road and displaying flashing red lights to stop at least 20 feet from the bus and to remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the flashing red warning lights are turned off. A motorist who violates this requirement may be required to forfeit $30 to $300. The bill increases the penalty to a forfeiture of $300 to $1,000. Under current law, DOT may adopt, by rule, a demerit point system for determining when to suspend a person’s operating privilege for repeatedly violating traffic laws. Under this system, DOT may assess demerit points against the driving record of a person convicted of violations of certain traffic laws. The bill requires DOT to assess three demerit points against the driving record of a vehicle operator who violates the requirement to stop for a school bus. WEAC Supports
Indoor Air Quality (AB 434 / SB 444). This bill requires the Department of Health Services to establish an indoor air quality inspection and evaluation program for public school buildings used by pupils. Among requirements of the bill, DHS may perform random inspections of a public school building used by pupils, must respond to complaints about the air quality and post inspection results including known potential health consequences of any problems identified with air quality in the building and any identified potential sources of air quality issues. Results must also be reported to the complainant and at an open meeting of the school board. The DHS would be required to assist the school in developing a reasonable plan to address any air quality issues.
Voucher Transparency on Tax Bills (AB 535 / SB 504). Requires property tax bills include the reduction in state aid to their public school district as a result of the statewide, Racine or Milwaukee voucher systems, or as a result of payments to private schools for the special needs voucher system.
Increasing Voucher Per-Pupil Payments. (AB305 / SB330) Increases voucher payments: K-8 to $9,500; HS to $12,000; privately run charters to $11,000; special needs vouchers $14,677. Bundles voucher increases with public school low-revenue ceiling fixes raising the limit to $11,000. Signed into law.
Eliminating Minority Teacher Loans & Other Programs (AB 554 /SB 596). Ends race-based criteria for college scholarships, grants and loans. The governor has signaled he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk. Has received a public hearing in the Assembly Colleges & Universities Committee, referred to the Senate Colleges & Universities Committee. WEAC Opposes. Read our testimony.
School Psychologist Loan Program (AB 234 / SB 241). This bill would create a school psychologist loan program for graduate students pursuing a school psychologist career. Eligible students could receive a loan of up to $10,000 annually for up to three years and 25 percent of the loan would be forgiven for each school year the recipient is employed as a school psychologist in an urbanized county or rural area.
DPI Mental Health Training Program (AB 575). Requires the DPI distribute information about its mental health training program annually. Additionally districts must develop a plan which includes information about the DPI program for addressing mental health issues that arise for school staff members and pupils. Finally, the bill requires annually distribution of the district mental health plan to all school staff. (Passed out of Assembly Ed Committee with Reps. Shelton, Considine, Hong in opposition.)