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Legislative Update

Senate Education Committee to hold hearing on April 25

by | Apr 24, 2023 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue

The state Senate Education Committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, April 25 at 10:00 am on two bills and the confirmation of several appointments.  The committee, chaired by Sen. John Jagler (R-Watertown, pictured), will meet in Room 201 Southeast of the State Capitol.

You can view the public hearing notice here.

The committee will hold a public hearing on the following two bills:


Senate Bill 74, relating to 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.

Senate Bill 210, allowing a school board member to serve as a volunteer school bus driver. 

Under current law, unless specifically allowed by a statute, the common law doctrine of incompatibility prohibits a person from holding two or more public positions when the duties of each position might conflict, or when one position might be seen as superior to the other. Currently, there is a statutory exception to the common law doctrine of incompatibility that allows a school board member to serve as a volunteer coach or extracurricular activity supervisor.

Senate Bill 210 creates a similar statutory exception that allows a school board member to serve as a volunteer school bus driver. Under the bill, an individual is allowed to serve as a school board member and a volunteer school bus driver at the same time if the school board member 1) has received a school bus endorsement from the Department of Transportation that authorizes the school board member to operate a school bus, 2) holds a valid commercial driver license, 3) does not receive compensation for serving as a volunteer school bus driver, and 4) agrees to abstain from voting on any issue that comes before the school board that substantially and directly concerns school bus drivers. The bill further specifies that reimbursement for expenses incurred in connection with providing volunteer services does not change a school board member’s status as a volunteer coach, supervisor, or school bus driver, including, in the case of a volunteer school bus driver, reimbursement for the costs of training for or renewing a required license or endorsement.

Confirmation of appointees to the Professional Standards Council and the Educational Communications Board

The Professional Standards Council for Teachers (PSCT) is a statutorily established council that advises the state superintendent on policy matters in the areas of licensure, educator preparation, evaluation, and effective teaching. The Council dates back 1997 Wisconsin Act 298, which created it.  Among other things, it is charged with proposing to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction a number of things, including standards for evaluating and approving teacher education programs, including continuing education programs; standards and procedures for revoking a teaching license; and alternative procedures for the preparation and licensure of teachers.

The WASB is entitled to recommend two school board members to serve on this council.  They are Margaret (Meg) Erler, who is currently the president of the Stevens Point Area School Board, and Barbra Herzog, who is currently the President of the Oshkosh Area School Board and the WASB Past President, representing WASB Region 7 on the WASB Board of Directors.

Meg Erler’s confirmation hearing will be held Tuesday.  Barb Herzog’s confirmation hearing will occur at a future Senate Education Committee meeting. 

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