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Legislative Update

Join us at our Fall Legislative Conference on Saturday, November 4th

The WASB is excited to invite you to our 2023 Fall Legislative Conference! This year, the one-day conference will be held on Saturday, November 4th in Green Lake at the newly renovated Heidel House. Attendees will learn from presenters about relevant topics, including significant changes to reading instruction, public opinion on education, the trends and impact of declining enrollment and board governance in a politicized era. You will also have a chance to sit in on a conversation between Assembly Education Committee Chair, Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) and Chris Kulow, WASB Government Relations Director.

Join the WASB Government Relations Team in Green Lake to learn about the latest issues affecting children in your communities and stay informed for the rest of the 2023-24 legislative session.

You can register for the event and read the agenda on our website. We hope to see you there!


Three bills directed at WI schools will receive committee action this week

This week, the WI State Legislature is set to hear public testimony or vote on three bills impacting Wisconsin schools. In the Assembly, the Committee on Education will meet on Wednesday, October 4th to hold a public hearing on AB 377, which would require student athletes to compete on sports teams that correlate with their birth sex. In the Senate, the Committee on Health will meet on Wednesday, October 4th to hold a public hearing on SB 447, related to ready-to-use glucagon rescue therapies in schools, and the Committee on Education will take a vote via paper ballot (committee members must submit their vote by 2:00pm Tuesday, October 3rd) on SB 83, related to including with a referendum question for issuing bonds a statement of the estimated interest accruing on the amount of the bonds.

The WASB is registered in opposition to SB 83, and you can read our full testimony here. See below for a list of the bill’s co-sponsors: read more…

Assembly Education Committee announces hearing on Sept. 29th

Kitchens PhotoThe Assembly Committee on Education, chaired by Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay), announced today they will be holding a public hearing and executive session on Thursday, September 28th at 9:00am. During the executive session, the committee will take a vote on two bills that if approved will go before the full Assembly for a vote. In the public hearing the committee will receive testimony on three bills affecting WI schools. A rundown of the full committee agenda is listed below: read more…

Senate Education Committee announces public hearing on Tuesday, September 26

The Senate Committee on Education announced that they will be holding a public hearing on Sept. 26th, at 10:00am. The committee will discuss several appointments, and three bills directed at public schools.

SB-83 would require school boards to publish on the ballot, the estimated interest that will accrue on issued bonds as part of a referendum. SB-335 would allow school districts to employ a district administrator without a license. SB-395 would remove the restriction on revenue ceilings, that restricts a district’s ability to shift their ceiling upwards for three years, if they fail an operational referendum. Visit the Wisconsin Legislature’s website to see the full committee agenda. read more…

Reminder: ESSER II funds must be spent by September 30th

DPI will be sending a reminder this week that ESSER II funds must be spent by September 30, 2023. They are encouraging school district leaders to check on your district’s ESSER II balance. In addition, please remember that the federal government allows for late liquidation, but late liquidation only gives districts an extension to claim on ESSER II funds that were spent before the deadline of September 30, 2023. Any funds that are not spent by September 30, 2023 must be returned to the federal government and may allow elected officials to make the case that school districts are not in need of funding.

Resources for ESSER II, including details about DPI open office hours, can be found at

JFC objection withdrawn: private school-related costs will be included in data portal

The anonymous legislator or legislators on the Joint Finance Committee have withdrawn their objection to moving forward with a public school financial data portal being developed by the Department of Public Instruction. The WASB views this as a positive development that should allow the process of developing the portal to continue based on recommendations from a bipartisan advisory committee.

See previous WASB release and blog post on the topic. read more…

Senate votes to override Gov. Evers partial veto that raised per pupil revenue limits, and passes three bills affecting WI schools

Resuming session today for the first time since the passage of the State Budget, the Senate voted along party lines to override the partial veto of Governor Evers that raised per pupil revenue limits for the next 402 years. Republicans hold 2/3rds of the chamber, which allows them to override gubernatorial vetoes despite unanimous Democratic opposition. The move comes as part of a larger fight over Governor Evers’ partial vetoes of the Republican tax cuts contained in the state budget. The matter now moves to the Assembly, where the GOP will have to either garner Democratic support or hope a few Democrats are missing from the vote in order to complete (Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) pictured). 

read more…

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