2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
February 13, 2015 - Introduced by
Joint Legislative Council. Referred to
Committee on Education.
1An Act to amend
20.255 (2) (cu) and 118.38 (1) (a) 9.; and to create
118.43 (9) 2
and 118.44 of the statutes; relating to: achievement gap reduction contracts
3requiring participating schools to implement strategies for improving academic
4performance of low-income pupils in reading and mathematics, granting
5rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill is explained in the Notes provided by the Joint Legislative Council in
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
Joint Legislative Council prefatory note: This bill was prepared for the Joint
Legislative Council's Study Committee on Student Achievement Guarantee in Education
SAGE is a categorical state aid program that provides funding to schools with
low-income students in primary grades (K-3) if certain statutory requirements are met.
The statutory requirements include: (a) reducing class sizes to no larger than 18 students
to one classroom teacher, or 30 students to two classroom teachers; (b) ensuring that
certain education and human services are available in the school; (c) ensuring that a
rigorous curriculum is provided; and (d) providing staff development and requiring
professional staff accountability.
Before an eligible school may participate in SAGE, the school board of the district
must enter into a contract with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on behalf of
the school. SAGE contracts are for five years and may be renewed for additional five-year
This bill creates a program entitled "Achievement Gap Reduction" (AGR) under a
new section of the statutes. The new program is similar to the SAGE program and
incorporates many existing aspects of the SAGE program; however, it prevents DPI from
entering into any new SAGE contracts or renewing any existing SAGE contracts.
The new AGR program is similar to SAGE in the following key aspects:
• The AGR program targets funding to schools with low-income students.
Participating schools are subject to a five-year contract between the school district and
DPI. The contract requires the school to meet certain conditions.
• The AGR program makes a school district eligible to sign an AGR contract on
behalf of a school that is subject to a SAGE contract on the effective date of the bill. It
does not authorize any AGR contracts for schools not currently in SAGE.
• The AGR program allows a participating school to meet the obligations of its
contract by limiting classroom ratios to 18:1 or 30:2, provided the school district also
provides professional development for teachers on small group instruction.
• The AGR program is also subject to a required annual evaluation.
• No AGR contract may contain a waiver of AGR requirements. School districts are
currently prohibited from requesting waivers of SAGE requirements.
The new AGR program differs from the existing SAGE program in the following
• The AGR program allows a school to meet its obligations under the contract by
using one of three strategies, or a combination of these strategies: (a) one-to-one tutoring
provided by a licensed teacher; (b) instructional coaching for teachers provided by a
licensed teacher; or (c) maintaining 18:1 or 30:2 classroom ratios and providing
professional development on small group instruction. Unlike SAGE, the AGR program
does not require all participating grades to meet the 18:1 or 30:2 classroom ratios in order
to receive funding.
• The AGR program requires a participating school to create performance goals,
including reduction of the achievement gap between low-income students in that school
and students in the same grade and subject statewide.
• The AGR program requires school board review of implementation and progress
toward achieving performance objectives in each participating school every semester.
• The AGR program is funded by a sum sufficient appropriation at the per-pupil
level currently received by SAGE participants ($2,027).
20.255 (2) (cu) of the statutes is amended to read:
(cu) Achievement guarantee gap reduction contracts.
3in the schedule for A sum sufficient for
aid to school districts and the program 4
evaluation under s. ss.
118.43 and 118.44
Note: Amends the name of the existing SAGE appropriation and appropriates a
sum sufficient to fund the new achievement gap reduction contracts authorized by the
118.38 (1) (a) 9. of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) 9. The requirements established for achievement guarantee 3
contracts under s. 118.43 and for achievement gap reduction contracts under s.
118.43 (9) of the statutes is created to read:
118.43 (9) Sunset.
No contract may be entered into or renewed under this 7
section after the effective date of this subsection .... [LRB inserts date].
Note: Prohibits the creation or renewal of SAGE contracts after the effective date
of the bill. Contracts will be available to schools currently participating in SAGE under
a new section of the statutes entitled "Achievement Gap Reduction," which is created in
the following Section.
118.44 of the statutes is created to read:
9118.44 Achievement gap reduction; state aid. (1) Definitions.
In this 10
(a) "Achievement gap" means the difference between the academic 12
performance of low-income pupils in a particular school in a particular grade in a 13
particular subject area and the academic performance of all pupils enrolled in public 14
schools statewide in that same grade level and in that same subject area.
(b) "Class size" means the number of pupils assigned to a regular classroom 16
teacher on the 3rd Friday of September.
(c) "Low income" means the measure of low income that is used by the school 18
district under 20 USC 2723
(d) "Participating grade" means grade 5-year-old kindergarten and grades 1 20
to 3 in a school subject to a contract under this section.
(e) "Participating school" means a school that has entered into a contract under 2
Note: Maintains definitions of "class size" and "low income" from the SAGE statute
and creates new definitions for "achievement gap," "participating grade," and
(a) School districts.
The school board of any school district that 4
has a contract under s. 118.43 on the effective date of this paragraph .... [LRB inserts 5
date], is eligible to enter into a contract with the department under sub. (3).
(b) Individual schools.
A school is eligible to participate in the program under 7
this section if the school is subject to a contract under s. 118.43 on the effective date 8
of this paragraph .... [LRB inserts date].
Note: The bill creates a new "Achievement Gap Reduction" program section of the
statutes to replace the SAGE program. This subsection provides that school districts and
schools that are currently participating in SAGE will be eligible to participate in the AGR
The school board of an eligible school district may enter into a 10
5-year contract with the department on behalf of one or more schools in the school 11
district that are eligible under sub. (2) (b). No achievement gap reduction contract 12
entered into under this section may include a waiver of any requirement of or rule 13
promulgated under the authority of this section.
(a) Strategies: class size; instructional coaching; tutoring. 15
The department shall require a school board that has entered into a contract under 16
sub. (3) to implement one or more of the following strategies in each participating 17
1. Provide professional development related to small group instruction and 19
reduce the class size in one or more classes in one or more participating grades to one 20
of the following:
a. No more than 18.
b. No more than 30 in a combined classroom having at least 2 regular classroom 2