New State Budget Requires Prompt School Board Action Regarding Notices to Parents and Guardians

The new 2015-17 state budget (2015 Wisconsin Act 55) imposes a number of additional notice requirements on school districts. These new requirements include that districts provide parents and guardians with notifications about:

  • the academic standards adopted by the school board for that school year; (this requires prompt action, see note below)
  • a copy of the school’s accountability report (report card) as well as the most recent ranking level assigned to each school within the school district boundaries, including independent “2r” charter schools and private schools participating in a private school choice program;
  • a list of the educational options available to children who reside in the pupil’s resident school district, including public schools, private schools participating in a private school choice program, charter schools, virtual schools, full-time open enrollment, youth options, course options, and options for pupils enrolled in a home-based private educational program; and
  • the existence of the special needs voucher program (to be provided to the parents of each child with a disability enrolled in the school district.)

*Note: The budget act specifically requires that school boards must:

  • annually, include an agenda item for the first school board meeting of the school year (i.e., the first meeting after July 1) that clearly identifies the academic standards adopted by the board that will be in effect for the school year.** (Note: This change became effective July 14, 2015.); and
  • annually, notify parents/guardians of students enrolled in the district of the academic standards to be used for the upcoming school year prior to start of the school term.

**The WASB recommends that each school board include an agenda item regarding academic standards in the agenda for the first meeting that it is practicable to do so after the effective date (7/14/15) of this requirement.