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Assembly passes two bills to require schools to report certain crimes

On Tuesday (March 14) the state Assembly took floor action on a pair of bills relating to reporting of crimes by schools as part of a floor calendar of bills focusing on crime.  Below is a description of those bills and the Assembly’s action on them.

Assembly Bill 53 – Reporting of certain crimes and other incidents that occur on school property or school transportation. [Main author: Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield)]

Beginning in the 2024-25 school year, AB 53 would require public high schools and private high schools participating in a parental choice (voucher) program to collect statistics on violations of municipal disorderly conduct ordinances and certain crimes, including homicide, sexual assault, burglary, battery, and arson, that occur on school property or on transportation provided by the school. The high school must collect statistics about the crime or disorderly conduct only if: 1) it occurred on a weekday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.; 2) it is reported to law enforcement; and 3) a charge is filed, or citation is issued.

AB 53 further would require that the collected statistics be reported to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and be included on the annual school and school district accountability report (a/k/a “school and district report cards”). However, the DPI may not consider crime statistics reported by a school or school district for purposes of determining a school or school district’s performance on the annual school and school district accountability report (a/k/a report cards”).


Legislative Fiscal Bureau Budget Summary Posted

The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released its detailed summary of Governor Evers’ 2023-25 budget proposal yesterday (3/15).

Here are links to the documents:

Bill to mandate crime reporting and school resource officers added to March 2 hearing

Assembly Bill 69 has been added to the agenda for the March 2 Assembly Committee on Education public hearing that we had previously posted about. The bill is authored by state Rep. Nik P. Rettinger (R-Mukwonago). Below is the Legislative Reference Bureau analysis of the bill: 

“This bill requires each public school, including a charter school, to report any incident that occurs in a school building or on school grounds to local law enforcement. The bill provides that, if 100 or more incidents occur in and on public school buildings and grounds during a school semester, and at least 25 of those incidents result in an arrest, the school must, no later than the first day of the next school year, employ or contract for the employment of a law enforcement officer as an armed school resource officer (SRO) to work at the school. Under the bill, “incident” is a defined term that includes violations of state and municipal disorderly conduct laws and certain crimes, including homicide, sexual assault, burglary, battery, and arson. However, the bill provides that, for purposes of counting the number of incidents that resulted in arrest, “incident” does not include incidents related to use or possession of alcohol, cigarettes, nicotine, tobacco products, or vaping devices. (more…)

Education committees to hold joint hearing on reading on March 2

The Senate and Assembly Education committees will hold a joint informational hearing on the subject of reading in Wisconsin schools on Thursday, March 2. Testimony at the hearing will be taken from invited speakers only. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 412 East of the state Capitol. 

View the notice for Joint Informational hearing here.

In addition, the Assembly Education Committee has issued a notice that it will hold a public hearing on Assembly Bill 53 following the conclusion of the informational hearing.

View the notice for the public hearing here.


Legislative Council releases report of Study Committee on Shared School Services

The Legislature’s Joint Legislative Council has released the final report of a special legislative study committee that spent much of the summer and fall reviewing current barriers to the sharing of administrative or other services between school districts, exploring the statutory creation of incentives to encourage efficiencies, including school district consolidation, and considering methods for sharing services. 

The report of the study committee, comprised of both lawmakers and school officials, includes a number of recommendations for legislation, including recommendations aimed at making the school district consolidation process more feasible for districts that may wish to pursue consolidation due to declining enrollment or financial considerations. (more…)

DPI releases new report on Wisconsin’s teacher supply and demand

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has released a new report on teacher supply and demand in Wisconsin, entitled “2021 Educator Preparation Program and Workforce Analysis Report.”


Among the key findings of the report:

  • Teaching areas in which shortages are most acute include, special education (particularly cross categorical), Language Arts (reading), Math, Science, Career and Technical Education (CTE), Art and Music, and English as a Second Language (ESL).