Proposed Resolutions for the 2021 Delegate Assembly - Submitted by Member School Boards

 
Proposed Resolutions for the 2021 Delegate Assembly - Submitted by Member School Boards
Proposed Resolutions for
the 2021 Delegate Assembly
   Submitted by Member School Boards

      WASB Policy & Resolutions Committee
                 October 2020
Proposed Resolutions for the 2021 Delegate Assembly - Submitted by Member School Boards
Proposed Resolutions for the 2021 Delegate Assembly - Submitted by Member School Boards
Table of Contents
Board-Submitted Resolutions
1. One Cent Sales Tax for School Infrastructure and Technology ..................................................                    1
2. Broadband Access ............................................................................................................     5
3. Enrollment Hold Harmless ................................................................................................        11
4. Instruction on Indigenous Tribes - Act 31 .........................................................................              15
5. Special Education in the Pandemic ...................................................................................            21
6. Assessment and Report Card Waivers ..............................................................................                24
7. Affordable Care Act ..........................................................................................................   29
8. District Administrator Evaluations ....................................................................................          32
9. Comprehensive School Safety Legislation ........................................................................                 36
10. Native American Mascots ...............................................................................................         39
Proposed Resolutions for the 2021 Delegate Assembly - Submitted by Member School Boards
Proposed Resolutions for the 2021 Delegate Assembly - Submitted by Member School Boards
1. One Cent Sales Tax for School Infrastructure and Technology

Submitting School Board:

Hudson

Description of Resolution:

The WASB supports the implementation of a statewide one cent sales tax to help districts build and upgrade
facilities, upgrade technology equipment for students and help lower property taxes for Wisconsin taxpayers.
School boards would need to approve a revenue purpose statement prior to expanding funds and funding
from the sales tax could not be spent on hiring additional staff or employee salaries.

Related WASB policies:

    •    2.04 State Taxes
    •    2.05 Balanced Tax System
    •    2.15 Statewide Capital Costs
    •    3.31 Technology in the Classroom
    •    3.32 Educational Technology Initiative
Background:

It is argued that providing revenue to schools through a sales tax increase has the benefits of reducing the
dependency on the property tax and including out of state visitors in sharing in the cost through sales tax
collections attributable to tourism. Other states, including the neighboring states of including Iowa and Illinois,
have implemented “one-cent sales tax for schools” programs.

In 2008, the Iowa Legislature committed to a statewide, one-cent state sales tax to provide an equitable
and secure funding source for school infrastructure needs. Shifting a portion of school facilities funding to a
one-cent sales tax emerged after voters in each of Iowa’s 99 counties had already approved their own county-
wide penny sales tax. (The one-cent state sales tax increase effectively replaced the local one-cent School
Infrastructure Local Option (SILO) tax adopted by all 99 counties.)

Now called Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE), the so-called “state penny” is a funding stream
that proponents argue ensures Iowa students have safe, modern school facilities and technology for their
learning and also provides an important source of property tax relief.

Spending under the SAVE Program is limited to:

    •    Reduction of bond levies;
    •    Reduction of regular and voter‐approved physical plant and equipment levy;
    •    Reduction of public educational and recreational levy;
    •    Any authorized infrastructure purpose of the school district
    •    The payment of principal and interest on bonds issued under SILO or SAVE.
         Allowable uses of SAVE Program funding cannot be changed from infrastructure or property
         tax relief unless the change is approved by a vote of at least two‐thirds of the members of
         both chambers of the Iowa General Assembly and signed by the Governor.

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Proposed Resolutions for the 2021 Delegate Assembly - Submitted by Member School Boards
In Iowa, about 98 percent of SAVE funding is distributed based on enrollment, with the same per-pupil
amount available to support each student, no matter where he or she lives. The remaining two percent or so is
channeled into a Property Tax Equity and Relief (PTER) fund that provides relief to school districts that have an
adjusted additional levy rate above the statewide average, starting with the highest levy rates until the funds
are exhausted.

Supporters argue local communities are using the funding based on their unique facility and infrastructure
needs. Local school boards oversee facility planning, with local community approval of the broad purposes and
uses of the funding stream. Supporters also argue that SAVE allows school boards to more reliably create long-
term plans and budgets. The Iowa program is set to expire in 2029 and, according to media reports, efforts
are underway to extend it to 2050.

Eleven years ago, Illinois passed a law authorizing the Illinois County School Facility Occupation Tax, or CSFT.
This law allows elected school boards to place a sales tax increase referendum of up to 1 percent on the ballot.
To pass such an increase requires a simple majority vote. The money generated must go toward school facility
projects. Around 70 counties across Illinois have voted on this ballot question since 2007.

Sales Taxes Generally

Generally, the sales tax is a flat rate state and local tax imposed on the purchase price of goods and services at
retail sales to consumers. The sales tax is collected by retailers and remitted to the taxing authority.

In Wisconsin, the state sales and use tax is 5% on the purchase price of taxable retail sales. In addition,
counties may impose local sales and use tax of up to a half cent (0.5%) sales tax on the same goods and
services that are subject to the state sales tax. The county tax is “piggybacked” onto the state sales tax in that
the county rate is added to the state rate and the county tax is administered, enforced, and collected by the
state Department of Revenue.

The sales tax has generally been thought to be inherently regressive because the proportion of an individual’s
or family’s income devoted to consumption declines as income increases. Persons at lower income levels,
therefore, tend to pay a larger share of their income in sales tax. The sales tax base and exemptions, however,
have a significant impact on the degree of sales tax regressivity. In Wisconsin, the exemption of food, drugs,
and certain other items, and the imposition of the tax on certain services, offsets part of the regressive effect.

Several types of local sales taxes are levied in Wisconsin. As noted, Wisconsin counties are permitted to
impose a 0.5% county sales tax. Currently, 68 of the state’s 72 counties have such a tax in place. (The four
counties that do not impose the county sales and use tax are Manitowoc, Racine, Waukesha, and Winnebago.)
The other types of local sales taxes levied in the state are local exposition district taxes, local professional
baseball park district taxes (which expired 3/31/2020), local professional basketball stadium district ticket and
food and beverage taxes, and premier resort area taxes.

A total of 45 states and the District of Columbia impose a state sales tax. The five states that do not have a
sales tax are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. In addition, 38 states collect local sales
tax, including Alaska and Montana.

As of November, 2018, state sales tax rates ranged from 2.9% (Colorado) to 7.25% (California), exclusive of
optional local sales taxes. Wisconsin has the lowest sales and use tax rate at 5% as compared to nearby state
rates (Indiana 7%, Minnesota 6.875%, Illinois 6.25%, and Michigan and Iowa 6%).

Staff Comments:

In Wisconsin, costs for school infrastructure (construction and maintenance) and school technology are
considered “shared costs” that are eligible to be aided through the state general equalization aid formula.
Thus, the state shares in those district costs to the extent a district receives aid through the general
equalization aid formula.

Local property tax revenues levied for the support of referenda-approved debt are exempted from revenue
limits.

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Proposed Resolutions for the 2021 Delegate Assembly - Submitted by Member School Boards
Because infrastructure needs vary widely from district to district, some have argued that school district
bonding (borrowing) is more appropriately a local decision and should be funded at the local level, while state
funding should be more focused on support for school district operations.

Others have argued that voters may approve a bonding referendum for educational reasons, such as improved
technology, safer and more accessible buildings or growing enrollments and therefore, to the extent possible,
the state should provide the same level of support for those purposes as it does with other educational
revenues.

Wisconsin counties have had the authority to enact a countywide sales tax since 1969, but it was not until
1985 that one was adopted. Until 1985, a county adopting the tax had to distribute all tax collections to
its underlying municipalities. The 1985-87 state budget gave a county the option of retaining its sales tax
revenues for its own use or distributing all or a portion of the revenues to the towns, villages, cities, and
school districts in the county. The method for distributing tax proceeds was left for the county to determine.
We are not aware of any counties that are currently sharing county sales tax revenues with school districts in
that county.

A potential alternative to the approach suggested by the resolution would be to advocate to expand the
county sales tax from 0.5% to 1.0 percent (from a half-penny to a full penny on the dollar) and to encourage or
require that this additional revenue be shared with school districts. This would likely result in a less uniform
distribution than the approach suggested by the resolution because certain counties would generate more
sales tax revenue than others and nothing would be generated in the four counties that currently have no
county sales tax. On the other hand, it would preserve an element of local control in that a county’s residents
could decide to tax themselves harder via the sales tax in order to lower property taxes for schools in that
county.

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Proposed Resolutions for the 2021 Delegate Assembly - Submitted by Member School Boards
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2. Broadband Access
Submitting School Boards:

Wausau, Ladysmith, Menomonie

Description of Resolution:

The WASB supports legislation to expand affordable, quality broadband access for all Wisconsin communities
including funding for school districts to ensure broadband access for students and staff. The WASB further
supports efforts of Governor Evers’ Task Force on Broadband Access and others working to advise the
governor and Wisconsin State Legislature on broadband actions and policy and initiatives for digital inclusion.

Related WASB policies:

    •   5.59 Low-Cost Internet Access
Background:

Wisconsin currently ranks 30th in the nation for broadband coverage.

More than 5.4 million residents, or roughly 93 percent of the state’s population, now have access to
broadband internet in Wisconsin, according to the most recent data from the Federal Communications
Commission. However, challenges with access remain in rural areas of the state, where roughly 398,000
people or nearly 23 percent of the rural population lack high-speed internet. The number of rural residents
lacking broadband access has decreased from 748,000 in 2018.

This year, Wisconsin provided a record amount of money for expanding broadband internet access in
underserved areas of the state. The Wisconsin Broadband Office made $24 million available this year through
the Broadband Expansion Grant Program, which was part of $48 million in funding provided under 2019
Wisconsin Act 9, the 2019-21 biennial budget.

Requests for funding through the program were more than double the amount awarded in grants. The
program has awarded 210 grants amounting to $44 million since its inception in 2014.

Gov. Tony Evers has created a task force to address broadband access in Wisconsin.

The task force will be charged with promoting broadband expansion and researching policies and projects to
meet the state’s goals. One of those goals is providing affordable broadband internet access to all residents by
2025.

The group comprises around two-dozen members including telecommunications providers, tribal
representatives, lawmakers and educational institutions. The task force will submit a report each year to the
governor and lawmakers with recommendations for deploying broadband, information about barriers to
access and ways to address inequities in delivery of high-speed internet.

The report will also examine issues with funding, technological advancements and the role broadband access
plays across various sectors.

Lawmakers Rep. Beth Meyers, D-Bayfield, and Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, will also serve on
the task force. The two served on the Legislative Study Committee on Rural Broadband, which resulted in
legislation to expand broadband funding.

Staff Comments:

One of the challenges in this topic area is that figures on internet access can be confusing, depending on the
source of the data, how it is reported and when it was gathered.

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According to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC), more than 40 percent of Wisconsin’s rural
residents lack access to high speed internet. Nationally, only about 31 percent of rural households lack access.
That same PSC document indicates that 23 percent of the rural population lacks broadband internet, the figure
cited above in the background section. The figures differ according to whether one looks at households or
total population.

Arguably, more could and should be done by the state to aid in expanding broadband access. For example,
from 2013-2019, the state of Wisconsin funded about $20 million in grants for broadband expansion. Over a
similar time period, the state of Minnesota funded more than $108 million in broadband expansion grants,
and providers had to match those grants with another $146 million.

Minnesota’s $255 million investment in broadband expansion was more than 10 times greater than
Wisconsin’s investment, and as a result only about 16 percent of rural households in Minnesota lack access to
high speed internet.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has forced many Wisconsin students to work and study from home 100
percent of the time, has laid bare the great educational inequity the so-called “homework gap” causes for
students and educators in Wisconsin’s rural areas where slower or inadequate internet access or spotty
cellphone access is the norm, as well as in both Wisconsin’s rural and urban areas where broadband is
available but students and their families can’t afford high-speed hookups.

Sluggish DSL connections, inadequate data caps, and connections that slow even further so customers don’t
exceed their data cap hamper many rural students’ ability to work away from school and receive an equitable
education that is on a par with that received by their peers in affluent suburban areas.

According to the DPI, before the 2019-20 school year, slightly over 80 percent of the state’s 421 school districts
reported being able to deliver education to every student via his or her own laptop or tablet, using so-called
1:1 technology; however, a significant number of districts were unable to deliver online education in this
manner. Expanding broadband connectivity throughout the state of Wisconsin would greatly help to address
this situation, allowing education and learning to continue when schools are closed due to weather or illness
outbreaks.

According to the DPI, before the pandemic, the state estimated that about 15 percent of Wisconsin students
— approximately 130,000 children — lacked broadband access.

Federal CARES Act money helped to provide temporary relief by funding low-cost internet subscriptions for
parents as well as internet-enabled devices such as tablets and laptop computers and hotspots—devices
that beam wi-fi signals into students’ homes using cellphone networks, enabling students to connect to the
internet from homes that lack adequate internet access.

The DPI now estimates that 5 percent of students — about 45,000 — still lack access to broadband in part
because hotspots don’t work in areas without cell coverage; however, this reduction depends on temporary
solutions or “work arounds.” As the current equipment wears out or as new students from new households
enter school, they will likely need to be supplied with devices and hotspots unless broadband expansion,
accessibility and access improves.

Nevertheless, a survey of Wisconsin school districts released in June 2020 by the Wisconsin Educational Media
& Technology Association (WEMTA) reported that 64 percent of Wisconsin school districts said parts of their
district lack broadband or cellular access, and 37 percent said they were unable to provide hotspots or Wi-fi
cards.

In this regard, the federal E-Rate program has played a crucial role in aiding schools and libraries to connect to
high-speed broadband that is vital for the type of student learning required in today’s world.

For many years the E-rate program was chronically underfunded, undermining the ability of libraries and
schools to meet the diverse and high-bandwidth needs of our learners and students. This was finally
addressed with the increased funding made as part of the 2014 E-rate Modernization reforms.

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With many students having either their own tablets and other mobile devices or school-provided mobile
devices or tablets, the additional funding has been particularly useful in ensuring adequate in-building
network infrastructure. Prior to the funding increase very few libraries or schools received any E-rate funding
for in-building networking. (This was then known as “Priority 2” funding and since 2014 is “Category 2”
funding.)

However, what is lacking is funding for infrastructure outside of schools’ in-building network infrastructure,
infrastructure and devices to assist student learning when students are away from the school building.

Under current FCC orders and regulations, Category 2 eligible equipment and services are limited to LAN/
WLAN (local area networks/wireless local area networks)-focused components, otherwise known as Internal
Broadband Equipment and Services. Devices such as tablets or laptops that leave school premises and
hotspots are eligible for Category 2 funding.

In addition, E-Rate funding for Category 2 expenditures is currently subject to a five-year per student cap.
Many argue that this per student cap is artificially suppressing demand for E-Rate funding that would
otherwise be evident. They further argue that current E-Rate utilization underestimates current needs
and, therefore, the current per pupil cap amount should be significantly increased. In other words, demand
for Category II funds is being unduly limited by the current restrictions placed upon eligible Category II
expenditures.

In reviewing this resolution, committee members may wish to consider adding language such as (or similar to)
the following:

        The WASB supports expanding high-speed broadband throughout rural Wisconsin and supports
        additional state funding through grants and loans using state bonding authority to make funds
        available to local municipalities and counties for planning as well as building out the expansion (of
        fiber networks).

        The WASB also supports expanding federal funding provided through the E-Rate program as well as
        loosening restrictions on the use of E-Rate funding that limit permissible expenditures of such funds to
        items on or pertaining to school premises. This would enable E-Rate funds to be used for such things
        as personal computing devices and mobile hotspots for students use in their homes or to buy down
        the cost of internet service in students’ homes.

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PROPOSAL FOR THE
                       2021 DELEGATE ASSEMBLY
    Date 09/09/2020
    Subject of Resolution    Resolution Recommending Legislation For Expansion of Affordable, Quality Broadband in Wisconsin and For District
                             Broadband Access Funding To Ensure Equity In Student Learning

    Submitted by the School Board of:           Wausau

                  Whereas some Wisconsin students lack broadband access due to affordability; and
    RESOLUTION
                  Whereas some Wisconsin students lack broadband access due to insufficient or unreliable quality; and
                  Whereas some Wisconsin school districts are unable to provide WiFi cards or hotspots to students; and
                  Whereas reliable, accessible broadband is a necessary tool as part of a strong public education; and
                  Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the crucial need for affordable, working broadband access for all
                  students and teachers; and
                  Whereas students without broadband access will be left behind their peers; and
                  Whereas the Wisconsin Supreme Court has determined that the equal opportunity to education as defined by
                  art. X, sec. 3 of the Wisconsin State Constitution is a fundamental right;1 and
                  Whereas a lack of broadband access denies students an equal opportunity to education in mandated virtual
                  learning; and
                  Whereas lack of broadband access generally results in an inequitable public education for socioeconomically
                  disadvantaged students or for students in rural Wisconsin without access;
                  Now therefore BE IT RESOLVED:
                  (1) the WASB supports legislation to expand affordable, quality broadband access for all Wisconsin
                  communities;
                  (2) the WASB supports funding for school districts to ensure broadband access for students and staff; and
                  (3) the WASB supports efforts of Governor Evers’ Task Force on Broadband Access and others working to
                  advise the governor and Wisconsin State Legislature on broadband actions and policy and initiatives for digital
                  inclusion.

                  Students and teachers need working internet to complete their work, especially in a mandated virtual learning
    RATIONALE     environment. Barriers exist, such as lack of affordability or lack of reliable, working internet. This results in an
                  unequal educational opportunity in situations of mandated virtual learning and it results in student inequity
                  generally. Working, affordable broadband is a necessary tool for education and the Wisconsin State Legislature
                  must take steps to remedy the inequity some
                  Wisconsin students currently face.

         CHECKING THIS BOX IS REQUIRED. Checking the box (at left) confirms that this submitted
         resolution was duly approved by the School Board.

         CHECKING THIS BOX IS REQUIRED. Checking the box (at left) and typing in the name of the
         board president (below) confirms that the board president signed this resolution.

    Board President: Tricia Zunker

    Date of Approved Resolution          07/27/2020

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Resolution Recommending Legislation For Expansion of Affordable, Quality Broadband in Wisconsin and
             For District Broadband Access Funding To Ensure Equity In Student Learning
Whereas some Wisconsin students lack broadband access due to affordability; and
Whereas some Wisconsin students lack broadband access due to insufficient or unreliable quality; and
Whereas some Wisconsin school districts are unable to provide WiFi cards or hotspots to students; and
Whereas reliable, accessible broadband is a necessary tool as part of a strong public education; and
Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the crucial need for affordable, working broadband access
for all students and teachers; and
Whereas students without broadband access will be left behind their peers; and
Whereas the Wisconsin Supreme Court has determined that the equal opportunity to education as defined
by art. X, sec. 3 of the Wisconsin State Constitution is a fundamental right;1 and
Whereas a lack of broadband access denies students an equal opportunity to education in mandated
virtual learning; and
Whereas lack of broadband access generally results in an inequitable public education for
socioeconomically disadvantaged students or for students in rural Wisconsin without access;
Now therefore BE IT RESOLVED:
          (1) the WASB supports legislation to expand affordable, quality broadband access for all Wisconsin
          communities;
           (2) the WASB supports funding for school districts to ensure broadband access for students and
          staff; and
      (3) the WASB supports efforts of Governor Evers’ Task Force on Broadband Access and others
      working to advise the governor and Wisconsin State Legislature on broadband actions and policy
      and initiatives for digital inclusion.
____________________________
1
     Kukor v. Grover, 148 Wis. 2d 469, 496 (1989); see also Vincent v. Voigt, 236 Wis. 2d 588, 600-601, (2000), holding
    that “[a]n equal opportunity for a sound basic education is one that will equip students for their roles as citizens
    and enable them to succeed economically and personally. [This includes] the opportunity for students to be
    proficient in mathematics, science, reading and writing, geography, and history, and for them to receive instruction
    in the arts and music, vocational training, social sciences, health, physical education and foreign language…So long
    as the legislature is providing sufficient resources so that school districts offer students the equal opportunity for a
    sound basic education as required by the constitution, the state school finance system will pass constitutional
    muster."

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Rationale:
 Students and teachers need working internet to complete their work, especially in a mandated
 virtual learning environment. Barriers exist, such as lack of affordability or lack of reliable, working
 internet. This results in an unequal educational opportunity in situations of mandated virtual learning
 and it results in student inequity generally. Working, affordable broadband is a necessary tool for
 education and the Wisconsin State Legislature must take steps to remedy the inequity some
 Wisconsin students currently face.
 The Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association released survey data in June 2020
 finding that 64% of school districts report that parts of their districts are without access to
 broadband or cellular networks. The survey also found that 37% of districts were unable to provide
 WiFi cards or hotspots to their students. See
 http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/062220wemtafs.pdf

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3. Enrollment Hold Harmless
Submitting School Board:

Beloit

Description of Resolution:

The WASB supports legislation that creates a hold harmless exemption in district enrollment calculations for
membership for the 2020-21 school year.

Related WASB policies:

    •    2.41 (i) Modification of Revenue Limits
Background:

State law requires all Wisconsin school districts report their official enrollments to the Department of Public
Instruction (DPI) on the third Friday of September and the second Friday of January. These enrollments are
used to determine student membership for school finance purposes. Districts are already able to include
in their enrollments students who attend existing virtual programs, placements required by individualized
education programs (IEPs), and other non-traditional instructional settings. There is no special flexibility
required for districts to count students who are being served with virtual or blended instructional models
on or around the count date.

Under existing law and DPI guidance, a student may be included in a school district’s September 2020
headcount for aid and revenue limit membership purposes if:

    1. The student is enrolled and in attendance on Friday, September 18, 2020, or

    2. The student is enrolled and in attendance for the 2020-21 school year on any day before September
       18, 2020, and any day after September 18, 2020, with no change in residency or enrollment during
       that period (the “before and after” dates are not restricted to Thursday, September 17 and Monday,
       September 21).

In either case, the student may be counted regardless of the specific setting in which they are receiving
instruction. Similarly, a student may be included in a district’s January 2021 headcount for aid membership if
they are enrolled and in attendance on Friday, January 8, 2021, or on any day before and any day after that
with no change in residency and enrollment, regardless of the instructional setting then in use.

If a district implements policies on how teachers will take and record attendance in their student information
system (SIS) for in-person, virtual, or blended instruction, then it should conduct its third Friday count process
as usual. Otherwise, the district will need to define its attendance policies for the instructional settings that
may be in use this year, and then determine alternative method(s) for documenting attendance used in the
third Friday membership count. Districts selected for membership audits in 2020-21 as required by law will
need to make their attendance policies and documentation used for their headcounts available to auditors,
but DPI is not prescribing that policies or documentation must be in any particular format.

To the maximum extent allowed by law, DPI will hold independent charter and private choice schools to the
same standard as school districts for their September 2020 counts.

General state aids for 2020-21 are based upon student membership data from 2019-20 that were reported
before the COVID-19 public health emergency was declared. Revenue limits, which in combination with
general state aids determine a district’s maximum allowable tax levy (excluding referendum debt and
community services), will incorporate September 2020 student count data into the three-year rolling average
membership. Per-pupil payments to independent charter and private choice schools are based on current year
counts.

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Staff Comments:

Student counts on the third Friday in September, the second Friday in January and in summer school
can significantly impact a school district’s revenue limit, per pupil aid and general aid distribution. It is
assumed that COVID-19 may cause student counts to decrease, leaving school districts to face negative
fiscal consequences in 2020-21 and beyond. The DPI cannot address this issue through the waiver process.
A statutory change would be required. Exact third Friday in September pupil count figures will likely not be
available from the DPI until early to mid-October.

Here is a detailed description of the impacts of a significant decrease in 2020-21 pupil counts on school district
revenue limits, per pupil aid and the general aid distribution:

Revenue limits – Under revenue limits, the amount of revenue a school district can raise from general school
aids, property taxes, and exempt property aid is restricted. A district’s base revenue in a given year is equal
to the restricted revenues it received in the prior school year. Base revenue is divided by the average of the
district’s enrollments in the prior three years to determine its base revenue per pupil. Under the 2019-21
biennial budget act, a $179 per pupil adjustment will be added to each district’s base revenue per pupil in
2020-21 to determine its current year revenue per pupil. Current year revenue per pupil is then multiplied by
the average of the district’s enrollments in the current and prior two years to determine the district’s initial
revenue limit. Thus, any reduction to enrollments in the summer and September of 2020 would work through
the enrollment average over the next three years, with one-third of the change first reflected in the district’s
2020-21 revenue limit.

There are two adjustments under current law to address declining enrollment. Under the main declining
enrollment adjustment, if a district’s current year three-year rolling average pupil enrollment is less than its
prior year three-year rolling average, the district receives a nonrecurring adjustment to its revenue limit in
a dollar amount equal to 100 percent of what the decline in the average enrollments would have generated
in revenue limit authority. Under the prior year base revenue hold harmless adjustment, if a district’s
initial revenue limit in the current year, after consideration of the per pupil adjustment and low revenue
adjustment, but prior to any other adjustments, is less than the district’s base revenue from the prior year, the
district’s initial revenue limit is set equal to its prior year base revenue amount. These are both nonrecurring
adjustments, so they do not permanently increase a district’s base revenues.

General school aids – A major objective of the general aid formula is tax base equalization, meaning districts
with lower per pupil property values generally receiving a larger share of their costs aided through the formula
than districts with higher per pupil property values. Under the 2019-21 biennial budget act, $4,903.6 million is
provided in the general school aids appropriation in 2020-21. The formula distributes aid to districts based on
their property values, aidable costs and enrollments from the prior year.

Thus, aid that will be paid in 2020-21 will be based on enrollments from the 2019-20 school year. Any
enrollment changes from the summer of 2020 and the 2020-21 school year, based on the enrollment counts
from September of 2020 and January of 2021, would be reflected in aid paid next year (i.e., in the 2021-22
school year).

While there are no hold harmless provisions related to the enrollment counts used for general aid, special
adjustment aid is paid as a first draw from the general school aids appropriation to eligible districts in an
amount such that the year-to-year decline in their general aid entitlement is limited to a decline of no more
than 15 percent.

Per pupil aid – Each school district receives a fully state-funded, flat per pupil aid payment, outside of revenue
limits, from a sum sufficient categorical aid appropriation. A district’s per pupil aid payment is calculated by
multiplying its current three-year rolling average under revenue limits by the statutory per pupil payment
amount ($742 per pupil in 2020-21 under the 2019-21 biennial budget act).

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There are no hold harmless provisions with respect to the enrollment figure used in the calculation or to the
year-to-year change in a district’s payment. As a result, if a district experiences any decline in enrollment in the
summer and September of 2020 counts, that would be incorporated into the three-year average for its 2020-
21 payment.

Existing WASB Resolution 2.41 (i) states (in pertinent part):

        “…the WASB supports changing the revenue limit FTE membership calculation to allow a district to
        use either a five-year rolling average, three-year rolling average or the current year membership,
        whichever is greater, and allowing a district to apply to the Department of Public Instruction for
        emergency aid or revenue flexibility.”

Implementing the change described in Resolution 2.41(i) would require a statutory change.

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PROPOSAL FOR THE
                         2021 DELEGATE ASSEMBLY
     Date 08/25/2020

     Subject of Resolution    The Implementation of a Hold Harmless District Enrollment Exemption for 2020-2021

     Submitted by the School Board of:            School District of Beloit

     RESOLUTION     The WASB supports legislation that creates a hold harmless exemption in district enrollment calculations for
                    membership for the 2020-21 school year.

     RATIONALE      General state aids for 2020-21 are based upon student membership data from 2019-20 that were reported before the
                    COVID-19 public health emergency was declared. Revenue limits, which in combination with general state aids
                    determine a district’s maximum allowable tax levy (excluding referendum debt and community services), will incorporate
                    September 2020 student count data into the three-year rolling average membership.

                    As a result of COVID-19, districts had to adjust their instruction and make decisions on the best approach to instructing
                    students during this time.

                    Parents/Guardians also have opportunities they feel are in the best interest of their child in the short-term. School
                    districts should not be harmed as a result of a situation that is out of the district’s control. The School District of Beloit
                    supports the Implementation of a Hold Harmless District Enrollment Exemption for a 2020-21 resolution.

           CHECKING THIS BOX IS REQUIRED. Checking the box (at left) confirms that this submitted
           resolution was duly approved by the School Board.

           CHECKING THIS BOX IS REQUIRED. Checking the box (at left) and typing in the name of the
           board president (below) confirms that the board president signed this resolution.

     Board President:     Kyle Larsen

     Date of Approved Resolution            08/25/2020

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4. Instruction on Indigenous Tribes (Act 31)

Submitting School Boards:

Wausau, Ladysmith, Menomonie

Description of Resolution:

The WASB calls upon its member boards to recognize their responsibilities and fulfill the requirements of Act
31 including initiatives that promote increased student academic competency regarding Act 31. Further, the
WASB supports legislation that would provide funding to better enable Wisconsin public school districts meet
this mandate and urges the Department of Public Instruction to develop an audit process to ensure Act 31
requirements are met.

Related WASB policies:

    •   1.01 Preserving Powers
    •   3.00 Basic Mission
    •   3.20 Mandates
Background:

In the 1989-91 biennial budget bill (1989 Wisconsin Act 31), the Legislature enacted four provisions relating to
American Indian studies and elementary and secondary education. These provisions are colloquially referred
to as “Act 31” and generally require the following:

    •   That the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), under the authority of the state
        superintendent, develop a curriculum for grades 4 to 12 on the Chippewa Indians’ treaty-
        based, off-reservation rights to hunt, fish and gather. [s. 115.28 (17) (d), Stats.]
    •   That each school board provide an instructional program designed to give all K-12 students
        an understanding of human relations, particularly with regard to American Indians, Black
        Americans, and Hispanics. [s. 118.01 (2) (c) 8., Stats.]
    •   That teachers licensed by DPI receive instruction in the study of minority group relations,
        including instruction in the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of the federally recognized
        American Indian tribes and bands located in Wisconsin as a condition of receiving that license.
        [s. 118.19 (8), Stats.]
    •   That each school board, as part of the social studies curriculum, include instruction in the
        history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of the federally recognized American Indian tribes and
        bands located in Wisconsin at least twice in the elementary grades and at least once in the
        high school grades. [s. 121.02 (1) (L) 4., Stats.]
Current law does not require data collection, tracking of compliance with Act 31 requirements, or evaluation
of the efficacy of the Act. DPI did, however, conduct surveys of school administrators and teachers in 2000 and
2014 to gather information on the implementation of the Act.

Members of the 2018 Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations expressed concern that there exists no
ongoing mechanism to measure whether the Act is succeeding in its goals.

                                                                                                              15
In response, the 2018 Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations recommended several pieces of legislation
in the 2019-20 legislative session, including:

     •       2019 Assembly Bill 106, which would require DPI to prepare and distribute informational
             materials to school boards regarding their responsibility for providing certain instruction
             in American Indian studies. The bill would require each school board to distribute those
             materials to its members and to certain administrative and instructional personnel.
     •       2019 Assembly Bill 109, which would increase the frequency of existing American Indian
             studies instruction in the elementary and high school grades, including specifying elementary
             grade bands within which the instruction must occur.
Both bills received a public hearing in the Assembly education committee but were not advanced.

In its fiscal estimate on AB 109, the DPI noted there is a potentially significant fiscal effect at the local level
involving:

         •    increased professional development and resource needs for K-12 teachers to
              accommodate the expanded instruction requirements compared to current law (1989
              Act 31);
         •    professional curriculum time for teachers to incorporate information into their courses; and
         •    cost for potential oversight and reporting of compliance.
The DPI was unable to accurately quantify the fiscal effect because every school district has different staffing
and curricular arrangements.

Staff Comments:

As noted, current law requires that a school board provide pupils with the following:

             1. An instructional program that is designed to give pupils at all grade levels an understanding of
             human relations, particularly with regard to American Indians, Black Americans, and Hispanics.

             2. As part of the social studies curriculum, instruction in the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of
             the federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands located in Wisconsin at least twice in the
             elementary grades and at least once in the high school grades.

The Act 31 requirements have remained essentially unchanged since their enactment in 1989. These Act 31
requirements set forth minimum standards with which school boards/districts are expected to comply. School
boards are free to provide more instruction than this standard requires if they choose to do so.

State law generally permits a school board to adopt whatever curriculum it deems appropriate, as long as the
curriculum generally aligns with or provides the substantive content required by state statute. Under current
law, DPI does not have the general authority to approve a school district’s curriculum, except in circumstances
involving a sufficient number of years of low performance.

The DPI currently curates an online database of American Indian studies education resources. The DPI posts
a variety of material, including suggested bibliographies for classroom reading, notification of upcoming
conferences and workshops for educators’ professional development, links to the official website of each
Wisconsin tribe and band, lesson planning resources, an email listserv to facilitate communication between
DPI and educators, and exemplary videos of teachers incorporating Act 31 concepts into their classrooms. This
database can be accessed at https://wisconsinfirstnations.org/ .

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In addition, Wisconsin’s current model academic standards in social studies and environmental literacy and
sustainability include specific references to tribal lands, tribal institutions, and the role of tribal governments,
as well as general references to other topics including culture, ethnicity, race, religion, and diversity.

There is a consensus among members of Wisconsin tribes and bands and others that Wisconsin schools are
neither fully nor uniformly complying with the Act 31 requirements. This is borne out by the most recent
survey conducted by the DPI in 2014. A large majority of administrators (mostly principals) who responded
said that their school or district includes instruction in the history and culture of Wisconsin American Indian
tribes and bands. A slight majority said that tribal sovereignty is included in instruction. Approximately 7 in 10
administrators said that their school or district needs additional instructional materials regarding Wisconsin
American Indian culture and approximately one-half believe more professional development is needed in this
area.

Generally speaking, the WASB has a strong tradition of local control and opposing, rather than supporting,
mandates on our member boards. This includes opposing instructional mandates that do not come with
additional resources attached.

This resolution, by calling for additional funding, addresses this concern; however, it also urges that the DPI
create an audit process to ensure Act 31 requirements are met. It is not clear what additional staff time and
expense would be involved in such an audit process.

The resolution also calls for initiatives that promote increased student academic competency regarding Act 31.
In the past, there has been a lack of consensus about how to measure the success of the Act. One reason for
the lack of consensus on how to measure the success of the Act appears to be a lack of consensus regarding
the goals that implementation of the Act is meant to realize.

Finally, we note that private schools that participate in one or more of the private school voucher programs
(“voucher schools”) agree to comply with a variety of statutory requirements in exchange for state-funded
tuition vouchers for each eligible student; however, Act 31 is not among those statutory requirements.
Current law does not explicitly require that private schools must comply with the provisions of Act 31. For that
reason, voucher schools are not required to provide the American Indian-related instruction that state law
requires school boards to provide in public schools.

                                                                                                                   17
PROPOSAL FOR THE
                     2021 DELEGATE ASSEMBLY
 Date 09/09/2020

 Subject of Resolution    Resolution Recommending Funding to Assist School District Compliance With Act 31

 Submitted by the School Board of:           Wausau

                Whereas Act 31 is the required state law mandating instruction on history, culture and tribal sovereignty of the
 RESOLUTION     eleven (11) federally-recognized Indigenous tribes in Wisconsin at least twice in elementary years and once in
                secondary years; and
                Whereas Act 31 originated from the misunderstanding surrounding tribal treaty rights, history, culture, tribal
                sovereignty and political status and from the social unrest surrounding the 1983 Voigt decision; and
                Whereas state and tribal leaders sought to provide students with accurate, academically appropriate education to
                combat societal misunderstanding and social unrest with Act 31 legislation; and
                Whereas a lack of Act 31 compliance exists today; and Whereas the lack of compliance with Act 31 contributes to a
                continued misunderstanding of Indigenous history, treaty rights, culture, sovereignty, political status and the
                enduring existence of the eleven (11) federally-recognized Wisconsin tribes today; and
                Whereas this misunderstanding impacts human relations; and Whereas the Wisconsin Code of Ethics for public
                officials declares that high moral and ethical standards among public officials are essential; and
                Whereas school boards have a legal and ethical obligation to ensure district compliance with the law; and
                Whereas some school districts may struggle to meet the educational requirements of Act 31 due to a lack of
                resources and materials;

                Whereas the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (hereinafter, “WASB”) supports the principle that the primary
                objective for student assessment is to improve student achievement and that districts should measure competency
                through performance assessment measures;
                Now, therefore BE IT RESOLVED that:
                (1) The WASB calls upon its member boards to recognize their responsibilities and fulfill the requirements of Act 31;
                and
                (2) the WASB supports initiatives that promote increased student academic competency regarding Act 31; and
                (3) the WASB supports legislation that would provide funding to better enable Wisconsin public school districts meet
                this mandate;
                (4) the WASB urges Wisconsin

 RATIONALE      Failure to comply with Act 31 leads to ongoing misunderstandings regarding First Nations people in Wisconsin and their
                continued existence and rights in society. These misunderstandings contribute to cross-cultural conflict. Wausau
                School District has students transfer from districts throughout the state and must ensure that our students have the
                necessary understanding required by Act 31.

       CHECKING THIS BOX IS REQUIRED. Checking the box (at left) confirms that this submitted
       resolution was duly approved by the School Board.

       CHECKING THIS BOX IS REQUIRED. Checking the box (at left) and typing in the name of the
       board president (below) confirms that the board president signed this resolution.

 Board President:    Tricia Zunker

 Date of Approved Resolution           07/27/2020

18
Resolution Recommending Funding to Assist School District Compliance With Act 31

Whereas Act 31 is the required state law mandating instruction on history, culture and tribal sovereignty of the
eleven (11) federally-recognized Indigenous tribes in Wisconsin at least twice in elementary years and once in
secondary years; and

Whereas Act 31 originated from the misunderstanding surrounding tribal treaty rights, history, culture, tribal
sovereignty and political status and from the social unrest surrounding the 1983 Voigt decision; and

Whereas state and tribal leaders sought to provide students with accurate, academically appropriate education to
combat societal misunderstanding and social unrest with Act 31 legislation; and

Whereas a lack of Act 31 compliance exists today; and Whereas the lack of compliance with Act 31 contributes to a
continued misunderstanding of Indigenous history, treaty rights, culture, sovereignty, political status and the
enduring existence of the eleven (11) federally-recognized Wisconsin tribes today; and

Whereas this misunderstanding impacts human relations; and Whereas the Wisconsin Code of Ethics for public
officials declares that high moral and ethical standards among public officials are essential; and

Whereas school boards have a legal and ethical obligation to ensure district compliance with the law; and

Whereas some school districts may struggle to meet the educational requirements of Act 31 due to a lack of
resources and materials;

Whereas the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (hereinafter, “WASB”) supports the principle that the primary
objective for student assessment is to improve student achievement and that districts should measure competency
through performance assessment measures;

Now, therefore BE IT RESOLVED that:

        (1) The WASB calls upon its member boards to recognize their responsibilities and fulfill the requirements of
             Act 31; and

        (2) the WASB supports initiatives that promote increased student academic competency regarding Act 31;
            and

        (3) the WASB supports legislation that would provide funding to better enable Wisconsin public school
            districts meet this mandate;

        (4) the WASB urges Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to develop an audit process to ensure Act 31
            requirements are met.

                                                                                                                        19
Rationale:

  Failure to comply with Act 31 leads to ongoing misunderstandings regarding First Nations people in Wisconsin
 and their continued existence and rights in society. These misunderstandings contribute to cross-cultural
 conflict. Wausau School District has students transfer from districts throughout the state and must ensure that
 our students have the necessary understanding required by Act 31.

                                                       References

 §118.01(2)(c)(7.and 8.), Wis Stats., Educational Goals and Expectations.

 §19.41, Wis. Stats., Code of Ethics for Public Officials.

 §121.02, Wis. Stats., School District Standards.

 Leary, J.P. (2018). The story of Act 31: How Native history came to Wisconsin classrooms. Wisconsin Historical
 Society Press.

 Wisconsin Association of School Boards Resolution 3.10

 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. (n.d.). Fact Sheet for Wisconsin American Indian Studies. Retrieved
 from https://dpi.wi.gov/amind/fact-sheet

 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. (n.d.). State Statutes for American Indian Studies in Wisconsin.
 Retrieved from https://dpi.wi.gov/amind/state-statues

 Wisconsin Association of School Board. (2018, August). From Treaty Rights to Cultural Sensitivity. Retrieved from
 https://www.wasb.org/wpcontent/uploads/2018/07/american_indian_education_Aug18.pdf

 Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction. (2010, Oct. 8). American Indian Studies and Act 31. Retrieved from
 https://dpi.wi.gov/news/dpi-connected/american-indian-studies-and-act-31

 WJFW Newswatch 12. (2020, May 18). “Lac du Flambeau Tribal members shot at while spearfishing on Gunlock
 Lake.” Retrieved from https://www.wjfw.com/stories.html?sku=20190525163736&status=viewfull

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5. Special Education in the Pandemic
Submitting School Board:

Neenah

Description of Resolution:

The WASB requests that federal and state governments and agencies provide targeted and temporary
flexibilities in response to the disruption of educational services due to the pandemic. These include allowing
schools to provide, without penalty, COVID interruption-related services designed to get SPED students back
to level they would have been at had schools not closed in Spring 2020.

Related WASB policies:

    •    3.40 Special Education – General Policy
    •    3.43 Flexibility for Alternatives
    •    3.48 IDEA (b) Maintenance of Effort
Staff Comments:

When schools were ordered closed in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, special education
services to many students with disabilities were disrupted. In addition, students were not being transported
to the extent they had been prior to the pandemic.

It was difficult to provide in-person services to these students with schools shut down for instruction. As a
result, many students with IEP’s for whom in-person instruction could not be provided last spring will likely
need additional services to restore them to the learning level they were at when schools shifted to virtual
instruction.

Virtual instruction is often difficult or less successful for students with disabilities because of the nature of
their disability(ies).

The aim of these targeted and temporary flexibilities would be: 1) to avoid unnecessary and resource-draining
lawsuits over denial of services; 2) to avoid endless IEP meetings to reevaluate special education students’
needs and progress and take teachers’ time away from actually providing services; and 3) to encourage
schools to focus instead on restoring students to where they would have been had the pandemic not occurred
and had schools not been shut down.

Due to the pandemic, traditional delivery of services to many students with disabilities was not possible in
times of school closure and digital learning. In order to best serve these students, districts could be granted
targeted and temporary flexibilities regarding maintenance of effort (MOE), comprehensive coordinated early
intervening services, and proportionate share requirements.

“Maintenance of Effort” (“MOE”) generally refers to a requirement placed upon many federally funded
grant programs, including IDEA, that the State Education Agency (SEA) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) or
school districts, demonstrate that the level of State and local funding remains constant from year to year. At
the local level, IDEA requires that school districts expend the same amount of local and state funding for
special education and related services as it expended in the previous fiscal year. During the pandemic, it may
have been difficult for districts to maintain their prior year spending levels on IDEA services.

The DPI monitors every LEA ian Wisconsin every year regarding IDEA MOE compliance. Failure to meet MOE
requirements may result in a school district losing eligibility to receive IDEA formula funding and requiring
the school district to repay funds, using a non-federal source, to the SEA, which is required to send the
penalty funds to the U.S. Department of Education. There are a limited number of provisions in IDEA to allow
for decreases in a school district’s MOE from one fiscal year to the next. This resolution asks for additional
provisions to be created specifically in response to the pandemic.

                                                                                                                    21
Coordinated early intervening services (CEIS) are services to help children who need additional academic or
behavioral support to be successful in school. They can include professional development and educational and
behavioral evaluations, services, and supports.

Coordinated early intervening services are services provided to students in kindergarten through grade 12
(with a particular emphasis on students in kindergarten through grade three) who are not currently identified
as needing special education or related services, but who need additional academic and behavioral supports
to succeed in a general education environment.

Proportionate share refers to a requirement in IDEA that requires school districts to provide special education
services to students with disabilities who are parentally placed in nonpublic schools which are located in the
school district. To meet the requirements of IDEA, every year each school district must expend a proportionate
share of federal IDEA funds on equitable services for parentally placed private school children with disabilities.

Each school district must, after timely and meaningful consultation with representatives of parentally placed
private school children with disabilities, determine the number of parentally placed private school children
with disabilities attending private schools located in the school district.

If necessary for a parentally placed child to benefit from or participate in the services provided under his or
her services plan (which is more or less the private school equivalent of an IEP), he or she must be provided
with transportation from the school or the home to a site other than the private school; and from the
service site to the private school, or to the child’s home, depending on the timing of the services. School
districts are not required to provide transportation from the child’s home to the private school. The cost
of this transportation may be included in calculating whether the school district has met the expenditure
requirements of the proportionate share.

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