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Legislative Update

Assembly education committee schedules informational and public hearings this week

by | Mar 1, 2021 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue | 0 comments

The state Assembly Committee on Education, chaired by Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) will hold an informational hearing and a public hearing on Thursday, March 4 at 9:30 am in room 412 East of the State Capitol. The informational hearing will include testimony from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) regarding progress on the dyslexia guidebook that was required to be developed by Wisconsin 2019 Act 86.

Immediately following the informational hearing the committee will receive public testimony on the following proposals:

Assembly Bill 118 (Duchow) During the 2021-22 school year, this bill allows a pupil to attend a “fully virtual option” (as defined in the bill) offered by a nonresident school board or a charter school located in a nonresident school district under the full-time open enrollment program.

WASB Position: Under review

The committee will immediately convene an executive session to vote on AB 118 before resuming the hearing.

Assembly Bill 119 (Loudenbeck) Current law limits the number of nonresident school boards to which a pupil may apply to attend a public school in a nonresident school district under the full-time open enrollment program to three nonresident school boards in any school year.

This bill specifies that an application submitted to a nonresident school board for a pupil to attend a virtual charter school under the full-time open enrollment program does not count for purposes of this limitation. (Under current law, for purposes of the full-time open enrollment program, a virtual charter school is considered to be located in the school district that authorized the virtual charter school.)

WASB Position: Under review

Assembly Bill 59 (Dittrich) Open Enrollment: This bill prohibits a resident school district from denying an open enrollment application for any reason and eliminates the current limit of three open enrollment applications during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years. If more students use the changes made here to open enroll, the positive/negative impacts felt by districts regarding open enrollment would be increased.

Statewide Voucher Program: For 2021-22 school year, this bill increases the family income eligibility requirement for the WPCP to a family income that is no more than 300% (from 220%) of the federal poverty level, which is the same as the Racine and Milwaukee Parental Choice Programs. The impact of more students being eligible and potentially participating in the program will likely be felt by property taxpayers (DPI fiscal estimate). 

WASB Position: Oppose (Resolutions 2.70, 3.77)

Assembly Bill 62 (Dittrich) The bill allows a pupil who attends a virtual charter school to participate in interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities in the pupil’s resident school district.

This bill also prohibits a school district from being a member of an interscholastic athletic association (WIAA) in the 2021-22 school year unless, during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, for purposes of eligibility during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, the interscholastic athletic association considers the method by which educational programming was delivered during the 2020-21 or 2021-22 school year to be an extenuating circumstance that justifies transferring schools.

WASB Position: Oppose (Resolutions 3.97, 3.98)

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Assembly education committee to hold public hearing on Thursday (4/22)…