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Legislative Update

Gov. Evers signs bills increasing low-revenue ceiling and voucher payments and revamping shared revenue—Part II

by | Jun 23, 2023 | Legislative Update Blog, State Budget, State Issue

On Tuesday (June 20), Gov. Evers signed two bills with significant effects on K-12 schools into law as 2023 Wisconsin Acts 11 and 12.   These new laws on education funding and shared revenue are part of a deal Gov. Evers reached with Republican legislative leaders.

An earlier blog post described changes made by the first new act (Act 11) dealing primarily with public school funding and voucher school funding.  The changes made by the second new act (Act 12) are described below.

Wisconsin Act 12 is focused primarily on: (1) modifying the state’s approach to shared revenue for counties and municipalities; (2) repealing Wisconsin’s personal property tax; and (3) authorizing the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to impose sales and use taxes, primarily to address unfunded pension system liabilities. This new law also makes other changes including some new provisions specific to the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and Milwaukee County and other provisions that apply to schools throughout the state. 

K-12 Education-Related Provisions Applicable Throughout the State—Crime Reporting:

Beginning in the 2024-25 school year, the bill requires public high schools, including charter schools that operate high school grades, and private high schools that participate in a choice program, to collect and maintain statistics regarding incidents that occur in certain locations and time periods.

This requirement applies only to an incident that satisfies all the following:

  • The incident occurred during:
    1. school hours.
    2. a school-sanctioned event that occurred before or after school hours.
    3. the transportation of pupils to or from school.
  • The incident occurred on one of the following:
    1. Property owned or leased by the school district in which the public high school is located, by the operator of the charter school, or by the governing body of the participating private high school.
    2. Transportation, including all the methods of transportation described in ss. 121.55 and 121.555, provided by the public high school, participating private high school, or school district.
    3. The incident was reported to law enforcement, and, as a result of the incident, a charge was filed, or a citation was issued. issuance of a citation:

Under the bill, a public high school and a participating private high school shall collect and maintain statistics of incidents of the following:

  • Homicide.
  • Sexual assault.
  • Burglary, robbery, or theft.
  • Certain types of battery, substantial battery, or aggravated battery under s. 940.19.
  • Arson.
  • Use or possession of alcohol, a controlled substance, as defined in s. 961.01 (4), or a controlled substance analog, as defined in s. 961.01 (4m).
  • Possession of a firearm in violation of the gun-free school zones law [s. 948.605 (2)].
  • Disorderly conduct in violation of a municipal ordinance.

The bill requires public high schools, independent charter high schools, and choice high schools to report those statistics on an annual basis by July 31 to the school board or the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), respectively. No school board, independent charter school operator or governing body of a participating private high school may include the identity of a pupil in a report under this subsection.

The bill requires DPI to promulgate rules to administer the reporting requirements, and it directs the Department of Justice (DOJ) to cooperate with DPI to develop a reporting system that incorporates DOJ’s uniform crime reporting system.

The bill also requires DPI to include certain schools, school-district, and statewide totals and averages regarding such statistics in school report cards. However, the bill prohibits DPI from considering the statistics when determining a school’s performance or school district’s improvement for the report card.

K-12 Education-Related Provisions Applicable Only to Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) – School Resource Officers:

The bill requires Milwaukee Public Schools to ensure that at least 25 school resource officers* are present at schools within the district during normal school hours, and that the school resource officers are available during certain additional time periods and events.

*In this context, “school resource officer” means a law enforcement officer who is deployed in community-oriented policing and assigned by the relevant law enforcement agency that employs him or her to work in a full-time capacity in collaboration with a school district.


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