The Legislative Council Special Study Committee on Shared School Services will hold its second meeting Monday, August 22, at 10:00 a.m. in the State Capitol, with a focus on School District Consolidation. As such, this meeting should be of special interest to school leaders.
You can watch the special study committee meeting on WisconsinEye.
Monday’s meeting will feature presentations on school district models in other states by three representatives from the Education Commission of the States as well as by a former Florida school superintendent from the Tampa area. (Florida uses a county-wide school district model.) The study committee will also hear from a panel of Wisconsin school district administrators whose districts have either contemplated or implemented a consolidation.
The special study committee held its first meeting on July 20. That initial meeting, which focused on current practices relating to sharing of services between and among school districts as well as through the use of Cooperative Educational Service Agencies or CESAs, featured presentations by staff attorneys for the Legislative Council, a panel of school district administrators and another panel of CESA representatives. The committee also heard a presentation from staff of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
During a discussion that followed the July 20 presentations, Study Committee chair, Representative Rob Brooks (R-Saukville), indicated the special committee wants to know more about three things:
- barriers to the successful implementation of shared services;
- attempts and sharing of services that proved not to be beneficial; and
- ideas or proposals that could address barriers to or incentivize greater use of shared services.
Chair Brooks indicated it would be his goal to allow districts to hold onto any savings generated by sharing of services, but he acknowledged that this would depend on the full Legislature and governor agreeing to that. Brooks suggested that lawmakers might be willing to provide incentives to greater sharing but indicated he was skeptical that lawmakers would agree to provide funding merely to study potential savings that might accrue from sharing.