Select Page

Legislative Update

Assembly Education Committee to hear bill mandating financial literacy classes on Thursday

by | Apr 17, 2023 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue

The Assembly Education Committee has scheduled a public hearing for 10:00 am Thursday, April 20, to take testimony on three Assembly bills, including a bill that would require students to complete a half-credit course in personal financial literacy to graduate from high school.

The committee is chaired by state Rep. Joel Kitchens (pictured), a former president of the Sturgeon Bay School Board.

The hearing will take place in Room 412 East, of the State Capitol. Bills scheduled for a hearing include:

  • Assembly Bill 109, relating to: requiring one-half credit of personal financial literacy for high school graduation; 
  • Assembly Bill 24, relating to: posting the child abuse and neglect reporting hotline in school buildings; and 
  • Assembly Bill 77, relating to: pupil applications to attend a private school participating in a parental choice program.

You can view the committee meeting notice here.

Below are detailed descriptions of each bill:

Assembly Bill 109—requiring one-half credit of personal financial literacy for high school graduation.

Under current law, a school board may grant a high school diploma to a pupil only if the pupil meets specific statutory requirements, including earning a certain number of credits in various subjects in the high school grades.

Beginning with pupils graduating in 2028, this bill requires that, to graduate high school, a pupil must earn at least one-half credit of personal financial literacy that includes financial mindset, education and employment, money management, saving and investing, credit and debt, and risk management and insurance.

Additional Notes on AB 109: 

Wisconsin started requiring its schools to incorporate K-12 Personal Financial Literacy curriculum after the enactment of 2017 WI Act 94, which requires each school board to adopt academic standards for financial literacy and incorporate instruction in financial literacy into the curriculum in grades kindergarten to 12.  According to the DPI, most, but not all, local schools in Wisconsin have a stand-alone course or an equivalent elective course that fulfills a graduation requirement.

In his proposed budget, the Governor recommends providing $2.5 million in funding in the 2023-34 and 2024-25 school years for grants school districts and independent charter schools to implement or expand personal financial literacy curriculum and programming, with an emphasis on innovation in personal financial literacy instruction.  (Assembly Bill 109 provides no funding to assist schools in meeting the graduation requirement mandate it imposes.)

Assembly Bill 24–posting the child abuse and neglect reporting hotline in school buildings.

This bill requires a school board, the operator of an independent charter school, or the governing body of a private school participating in a parental choice program or in the Special Needs Scholarship Program to post in a conspicuous location in a public area of each school building a sign that contains the telephone number for the local county or state agency that is responsible for receiving reports of, and conducting investigations regarding, child abuse or neglect.

Additional Notes on AB 24:

All school employees are now mandated by section 48.981 of the state statutes to report suspected or threatened child abuse or neglect. Individuals who are not mandatory reporters are permitted (but not statutorily required) to report suspected abuse or neglect using the same procedures that a mandatory reporter would use.

As a matter of local policy, school boards may choose to require other individuals who perform services for the schools or work with students in the schools (e.g., contracted personnel who perform services for the district, school volunteers) who suspect child abuse or neglect to make either an internal or external report. However, if a school district chooses to use policy to expand the group of individuals who are expected to recognize and report possible abuse or neglect in the school setting, the district should take care to provide notice of these expectations and related training to those individuals. 

Assembly Bill 77—pupil applications to attend a private school participating in a parental choice program.

This bill allows a private school participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, Racine Parental Choice Program, or the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (parental choice program) to allow parents and guardians of pupils participating in a parental choice program to opt to use an automatic application process to attend the private school under the parental choice program in subsequent school years. If a parent or guardian opts to use an automatic application process offered by a private school, the parent or guardian is considered to have annually submitted an application to the private school for the pupil to attend the private school under the parental choice program, as required by law, until 1) the parent or guardian submits a notice to the private school to stop the automatic application process or 2) the pupil is enrolled in the highest grade offered by the private school. If the pupil is participating in the WPCP, an application submitted through an automatic application process is considered to be accepted by the private school during the WPCP application period.

Under current law, a private school participating in the WPCP is allowed to accept applications for the following school year between the first weekday in February and the third Thursday in April from pupils. Current law requires private schools participating in the WPCP to report the number of pupils who apply during this application period to the Department of Public Instruction for DPI to determine whether accepted applications exceed school district pupil participation limits, and if necessary, implement the school district participation limits.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Subscribe to the WASB blogs!

Subscribe to receive notifications of new posts by email.