Legal & Human Resources Services
Legal services provided by WASB staff attorneys are available to member boards in order to aid and assist member boards in performing their lawful functions. The availability of WASB staff attorney services is because of, and is included in, that common membership. The availability of WASB staff attorney services is in the public’s interest as it promotes the lawful conduct of member boards statewide and facilitates access to legal services statewide. Member boards have joined together to secure the benefits of common purpose and shared resources in accessing WASB staff attorney services.
The Legal & Human Resources Services staff assist member districts’ school board members and administrators throughout the state. WASB staff attorneys can assist with a variety of employment, human resources, school and labor law issues to help your district make sound management decisions. As a member of the WASB, you have access to sample employment policies, employee compensation data and other resources to help you manage your district more efficiently.
In addition to the benefits that the Legal & Human Resources Services staff provide as a part of your membership, WASB staff attorneys are available to provide other services for an hourly fee in accordance with the policies adopted by the WASB Board of Directors. Charges for services under that policy are intended to reimburse the WASB for its additional expenses incurred by WASB staff attorneys providing services to a specific member board beyond the benefits provided in common to all member boards. The WASB does not represent that it provides legal services. Any legal services accessed by WASB members are performed by WASB staff attorneys and are at the direction and control of WASB staff attorneys,
Your WASB membership provides access to the following services.
Additional legal resources are provided under Related Links.
Members can direct general human resources, employment or school law questions to any WASB staff attorney. Hundreds of telephone calls each month are answered from administrators and board members who want information, suggestions, and solutions to their employment law and human resources issues.
Handbooks, Policies and Job Descriptions
WASB staff attorneys can assist with the process of reviewing, drafting or revising a handbook, board policies, job descriptions, bargaining proposals or other employment-related documents. In addition, members may request district employment policies, handbooks, CBAs, and salary schedules from the WASB archives.
In-Services, Training and Webinars
On-site workshops and training are available covering a wide range of human resource, employment and school law topics. One of our most popular workshops is the School Board Legal Roles and Responsibilities workshop, where a WASB staff attorney reviews the legal basis for school board powers and duties, district administrator powers and duties and the duties of the individual board member. If your district has distance learning technology, WASB can save you travel costs by presenting sessions remotely through videoconferencing. In addition, WASB staff attorneys frequently present on a variety of legal topics at the WASB annual Employment & Labor Law Seminars and State Education Convention, and through webinars.
Individual Employment Contracts
The WASB staff attorneys can review your current contracts or draft new ones, answer contract interpretation questions, draft individual letters of intent for school year support personnel, guide your board through dismissal and nonrenewal proceedings, and represent school boards in contract administration issues.
Representation in Proceedings Before State Agencies
WASB staff attorneys can help you navigate often-complicated legal waters and will represent boards in discrimination and unemployment insurance compensation cases before relevant state agencies.
Salary and Benefits
Your membership allows you to access the WASB’s compensation database which is a powerful tool that contains salary and fringe benefit information from districts throughout the state. WASB staff attorneys represent school boards in all phases of contract negotiations for teachers and/or support staff. For example, a staff attorney may track comparable salary, wage and CPI data, draft proposals, negotiate, and advise districts how to respond to union proposals.
WASB staff attorneys can represent school boards in collective bargaining and are available to provide legal representation in response to prohibited practice complaints and unit clarification petitions.
Student Expulsion Hearings
WASB staff attorneys can either serve to impartially direct expulsion hearing proceedings or be named as a district’s designated hearing officer under section 120.13(1)(e)1.b. of the Wisconsin statues. As a designated hearing officer, a WASB staff attorney would serve as the impartial decision maker and determine whether the administration’s process and recommendation for expulsion should be upheld.
Negotiation, Review, and Drafting of Agreements with Outside Parties
WASB staff attorneys have experience working with construction, transportation and other commercial contracts. When entering into agreements with outside parties, boards may contact the WASB to review such contracts, negotiate more favorable terms, and protect boards from onerous contract provisions. In addition, WASB staff attorneys can help districts with intergovernmental agreements to make sure they comply with the law and board policies and procedures, and with establishing purchasing cooperatives to improve health insurance purchasing power.
Open Meetings and Public Records Requests
Wisconsin’s Open Meetings and Public Records laws need not be a constant source of consternation for school boards. WASB staff attorneys are available to provide individualized or group presentations regarding open meetings, public records, and public records retention requirements.
Annual Meetings, Special Meetings and Referenda
Common and union high school districts are required to have annual meetings of the electors and to present the proposed district budget for the upcoming school year. WASB staff attorneys are available to guide boards through their annual budget hearings, parliamentary procedures, annual meetings and the referendum process.
ADA Compliance Program
On March 12, 2012, new design standards were signed into federal law and require school districts to have an updated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plan. Working with Disability Access Consulting, the WASB ADA compliance program makes ADA easy to understand and mitigates risk for your district.
Through Disability Access Consulting, the WASB offers a full range of accessibility services to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including:
- General ADA training
- ADA sensitivity training
- Facility inspections
- Transition plans
- Plan reviews
- Expert witness services