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Legislative Update

Legislative Council releases report of Study Committee on Shared School Services

by | Feb 22, 2023 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue

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.

The committee met five times to hear testimony and discuss proposals for legislation to, among other things: boost school district consolidation aid; fund feasibility studies of school district consolidation; reimburse school districts and CESAs for the cost of writing federal and state grant applications; and provide state aid to cover costs for school districts that share student information systems or transport pupils between school districts that share instructional services.  Each of those proposals, along with several others, found its way into the committee’s final recommendations.

The study committee’s findings and recommendations, including descriptions of its proposals for legislation, are detailed in its report, which can be found here. You can find copies of all of the bill drafts recommended by the committee here.

The Wisconsin Legislative Council is a nonpartisan legislative service agency. Among other services provided to the Wisconsin Legislature, staff of the Wisconsin Legislative Council conduct study committees under the direction of the Joint Legislative Council. Established in 1947, the Joint Legislative Council directs study committees to study and recommend legislation regarding major policy questions facing the state. Study committee members are selected by the Joint Legislative Council and include both legislators and citizen members who are knowledgeable about a study committee’s topic.

Ben Niehaus, WASB Director of Member Services, served as a member of the Study Committee on Shared School Services.

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