117.15(3) (3)The testimony of and written statements filed by the residents of the affected school districts.
117.15(4) (4)The estimated fiscal effect of the proposed reorganization on the affected school districts, including the effect of the apportionment of assets and liabilities.
117.15(5) (5)Whether the proposed reorganization will make any part of a school district's territory noncontiguous.
117.15(6) (6)The socioeconomic level and racial composition of the pupils who reside or will reside in territory proposed to be detached from one school district and attached to an adjoining school district, in territory proposed to be included in a new school district under s. 117.105 or in school districts proposed to be consolidated or in a school district proposed to be dissolved; the proportion of the pupils who reside in such territory who are children at risk, as defined under s. 118.153 (1) (a); and the effect that the pupils described in this paragraph will have on the present and future socioeconomic level and racial composition of the affected school districts and on the proportion of the affected school districts' enrollments that will be children at risk.
117.15(7) (7)The results of any referendum held under s. 117.10.
117.15 History History: 1989 a. 114, 287; 1997 a. 286.
117.15 Annotation On review of a decision under this section, the only issues to be considered are whether the reorganization authority acted within its jurisdiction and whether the determination was arbitrary and capricious. While an authority is bound to consider all the factors enumerated in this section, it may consider information from other sources, including matters within its knowledge and expertise. School District of Waukesha v. School District Boundary Appeal Board, 201 Wis. 2d 109, 548 N.W.2d 122 (Ct. App. 1996), 95-0905.
117.17 117.17 Reorganization order.
117.17(1)(1)Contents; effective date.
117.17(1)(a)(a) Every order of school district reorganization under s. 117.08, 117.09 or 117.105 that creates a new school district shall state the school districts which are dissolved or from which territory is detached to create the new school district, name the new school district, state the type of school district and the grades to be taught by the new school district pursuant to s. 115.01 (2), (3) and (5), designate the number of school board members under s. 120.01 or 120.41, designate the terms of initial members of the school board under s. 120.02 (3) (a), designate the method of election of school board members under s. 120.06 or 120.42, direct the election of school board members under s. 120.06 or 120.42, insofar as applicable, designate the date of the first election of school board members, as provided under s. 117.22 (2) (b), and fix the time and place for the first annual meeting of the new school district, if one is to be held. The secretary of the board shall give notice of the first annual meeting, if one is to be held, under s. 120.08 (1) (c), and shall designate a person to act as temporary chairperson of the annual meeting until a chairperson is elected.
117.17(1)(b) (b) Every order of school district reorganization under s. 117.10 that dissolves a school district shall state the school district that is dissolved and describe the territory, assets and liabilities of the school district. Every order of school district reorganization issued under s. 117.10 (4) shall describe the territory, assets and liabilities allocated to each other school district under that subsection.
117.17(1)(bm) (bm) Every order of school district reorganization under s. 117.105 shall describe the territory of the school districts from which territory is detached to create the new school district, state the school district created by the order and describe the territory of the school district created by the order.
117.17(1)(c) (c) Every order of school district reorganization under ss. 117.11 to 117.132 shall state the school districts from which any territory is detached and the school district to which any territory is attached and describe the territory.
117.17(1)(d) (d) Every order of school district reorganization and every order under s. 117.35 (3) shall state the date on which it is to take effect. The date shall be as specified under ss. 117.08 to 117.132, 117.27 (1) and 117.35 (3). If an appeal is made to court under s. 117.14, the court may stay enforcement under s. 227.54 of the order if a showing is made that there is substantial probability that the party seeking review will prevail on the merits and will suffer irreparable harm if a stay is not granted.
117.17(2) (2)Filing. A certified copy of any resolution or order granting, affirming or denying a reorganization or resolving a boundary dispute shall be filed, within 5 days after it is adopted or issued, with the secretary of the board. Upon receipt of the resolution or order, the secretary of the board shall immediately place on it the date upon which it was received. If the resolution or order affirms or grants a reorganization or resolves a boundary dispute, within 5 days after receipt of the resolution or order the secretary of the board shall send a certified copy of the resolution or order by certified mail to the following:
117.17(2)(a) (a) Except as provided in par. (b), the clerk of each city, village, town, or county, any part of which is contained within an affected school district, or any part of which is contained within an interested school district if the resolution or order resolves a boundary dispute.
117.17(2)(b) (b) If the order is issued under s. 117.12 or 117.13, the clerk of each city, village, or town in which any part of the territory is located, and the clerk of each county in which any part of an affected school district is located.
117.17(3) (3)Presumption; validity of order.
117.17(3)(a) (a) A reorganization order or order resolving a boundary dispute shall be presumptive evidence of the facts recited therein and of the proceedings preliminary to the issuance of the order.
117.17(3)(b) (b) The failure of any officer to perform a duty imposed upon him or her by this chapter does not affect the validity of a reorganization order or order resolving a boundary dispute otherwise lawfully made, but the officer is subject to s. 946.12.
117.20 117.20 Referendum procedures.
117.20(1)(1)
117.20(1)(a) (a) Except as provided in par. (b), if a referendum is required under ss. 117.08 to 117.11, it shall be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November following receipt of the petition or adoption of the resolution under s. 117.08 (3) (a), 117.09 (3) (a), 117.10 (3) (a) or 117.11 (4) (a). If a referendum is required under s. 117.105 (3), it shall be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in the 2nd November following receipt of the petition or adoption of the resolution under s. 117.105 (1). If a referendum is required under s. 117.105 (4m), it shall be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November following the date an order is issued by the board under s. 117.105 (4m) (c).
117.20(1)(b)1.1. If the alternative timeline under s. 117.08 (5) (a) is used and a referendum is required, it shall be held on the first Tuesday in April following receipt of the petition or adoption of the resolution under s. 117.08 (3) (a).
117.20(1)(b)2. 2. If the alternative timeline under s. 117.08 (5) (b) is used and a referendum is required, it shall be held on the 2nd Tuesday in September following receipt of the petition or adoption of the resolution under s. 117.08 (3) (a).
117.20(2) (2)The clerk of each affected school district shall publish notice, as required under s. 8.55, in the territory of that school district. The procedures for school board elections under s. 120.06 (9), (11), (13), and (14) apply to a referendum held under this section. The school board and school district clerk of each affected school district shall each perform, for that school district, the functions assigned to the school board and the school district clerk, respectively, under those subsections. The form of the ballot shall correspond to the form prescribed by the elections commission under ss. 5.64 (2) and 7.08 (1) (a). The clerk of each affected school district shall file with the secretary of the commission a certified statement prepared by the school district board of canvassers of the results of the referendum in that school district.
117.22 117.22 School boards in new school districts.
117.22(1)(1)Joint interim school boards.
117.22(1)(a) (a) If school districts are consolidated under s. 117.08 or 117.09, the school boards of the consolidating school districts shall constitute the joint interim school board of the new school district.
117.22(1)(b) (b) The joint interim school board under par. (a) constitutes the school board of the new school district beginning on the following date:
117.22(1)(b)1. 1. If no referendum is required, on the 2nd Tuesday of September following the adoption of the resolution under s. 117.08 (2) or 117.09 (2); except that if the alternative timeline under s. 117.08 (5) (a) is used, on the 2nd Tuesday of February following the adoption of the resolution under s. 117.08 (2); and if the alternative timeline under s. 117.08 (5) (b) is used, on the 2nd Tuesday of July following the adoption of the resolution under s. 117.08 (2).
117.22(1)(b)2m. 2m. If a referendum is required under s. 117.08 (3) or 117.09 (3), on the 31st day following the date the order of reorganization is filed under s. 117.08 (4) or 117.09 (4).
117.22(1)(c) (c) The joint interim school board shall constitute the school board of the new school district until a school board is elected and qualified under sub. (2). The joint interim school board shall have all the powers and duties of a school board elected for the school district. Any action by the joint interim school board requires an affirmative vote of a majority of a quorum of the joint interim board.
117.22(2) (2)School board elections.
117.22(2)(a) (a) In this subsection, “school district clerk" means:
117.22(2)(a)1. 1. The clerk of the affected school district that has the highest equalized valuation, if an order of reorganization is issued under s. 117.08 or 117.105.
117.22(2)(a)2. 2. The clerk of the affected union high school district, if an order of reorganization is issued under s. 117.09.
117.22(2)(b) (b) An order of school district reorganization issued under s. 117.08 or 117.09 shall designate the date of the first election of school board members, which shall be not later than 4 months after the effective date of the order, except as provided under par. (cm).
117.22(2)(bm) (bm) If an order of reorganization is issued under s. 117.105, the first election of school board members shall be held at the spring election following the referendum under s. 117.105 (3) or (4m).
117.22(2)(cm) (cm) No election under par. (b) may be held after February 1 and before the date of the spring election, nor after September 1 and before the date of a general election held in the same year.
117.22(2)(d) (d) At least 12 weeks prior to the date of the election, the school district clerk shall publish a type A notice of the school board election, under s. 10.01 (2) (a). No later than 5 p.m. on the date 10 weeks prior to the election, any qualified elector of the school district created by the reorganization may file with the school district clerk a sworn declaration of candidacy for the school board and, if required, nomination papers, as provided under s. 120.06 (6) (b). For purposes of this paragraph, a candidate who resides in the territory of the school district created pursuant to a reorganization under s. 117.105 and is otherwise a qualified elector shall be considered a qualified elector for a school board election under par. (bm). A candidate shall file an amended declaration with the school district clerk as provided in s. 120.06 (6) (b) 5. Within 8 days after the first election in the newly created school district, the school district clerk shall notify the successful candidates of their election. On the 2nd Tuesday following the election, the clerk shall administer or receive the official oath and the newly elected members shall take office.
117.22(2)(e) (e) If a primary election for the school board positions is required under s. 120.06 (7) (b), it shall be held on the day which is 4 weeks before the election, except that if the school board election is held on the day of the general election, the primary shall be held on the day of the partisan primary, and if the school board election is held on the day of the spring election, the primary shall be held on the day of the spring primary. The school district clerk shall notify the clerk of each city, village or town, any part of which is contained within an affected school district, of the primary election. The school district clerk shall give the notices under s. 120.06 (8) (c) on the Monday before the primary election, if one is held, and on the Monday before the school board election.
117.22(2)(f) (f) Costs chargeable to the school district under ss. 5.68 and 7.03 shall become a charge upon the new school district and the school board of the new school district shall pay all such costs.
117.22(3) (3)Ineligibility. Any person elected to a school board in an election under sub. (2) (bm) who is also a member of the school board of an affected school district is not eligible to serve as a member of the school board for the school district created by the reorganization unless the person resigns as a member of the school board of the affected school district prior to receiving the official oath of office under sub. (2) (d).
117.25 117.25 Transfer of assets, liabilities and employees; agreements between consolidating school districts.
117.25(1)(1)Consolidations. On the effective date of a consolidation of school districts under s. 117.08 or 117.09, all of the following apply:
117.25(1)(a) (a) The school districts that were consolidated cease to exist.
117.25(1)(b) (b) Title to all property and the assets of the school districts under par. (a) become vested in the new consolidated school district.
117.25(1)(c) (c) Claims, obligations and contracts of the school districts under par. (a) become claims, obligations and contracts of the new consolidated school district.
117.25(1)(d)1.1. Employees of the school districts under par. (a) become employees of the new consolidated school district.
117.25(1)(d)2. 2. The new consolidated school district assumes the rights and obligations of the school districts under par. (a), under the provisions of any collective bargaining agreement that applies to these employees.
117.25(1)(d)3. 3. The collective bargaining agreement remains in effect until the expiration date of the agreement or until a new collective bargaining agreement between the school district and representatives of these employees is effective, whichever occurs first.
117.25(1m) (1m)Consolidations; agreements to continue programs or facilities.
117.25(1m)(a)(a) A written agreement between the school boards of 2 or more school districts that are considering consolidating under s. 117.08 or 117.09 to continue operating a program or facility at a specific location for a specified period after consolidation, not to exceed 5 years, shall be binding upon the joint interim school board of the new school district under s. 117.22 and any subsequently elected school board of the new school district. The school district clerk of the school district with the largest equalized valuation shall file a copy of the agreement with the state superintendent.
117.25(1m)(b) (b) Ten or more electors of the new school district may jointly petition the circuit court of the county in which any portion of the new school district is located to enforce an agreement under par. (a).
117.25(2) (2)Detachment and attachment of territory. When territory is detached from one school district and attached to an adjoining school district under ss. 117.11 to 117.132, all of the following apply:
117.25(2)(a) (a) Assets and liabilities are assigned to the school districts under s. 66.0235 on the effective date of the reorganization.
117.25(2)(b)1.1. Any employee of the school district from which territory is detached who is laid off as a result of the reorganization has priority over other persons, except employees of the school district to which the territory is attached and former employees of that school district who were laid off from that school district, for 3 years after the effective date of the reorganization for new positions and vacant positions for which he or she is qualified in the school district to which the territory is attached.
117.25(2)(b)2. 2. Any person who wishes to exercise his or her priority under subd. 1. shall notify the school district to which the territory is attached, in writing, that he or she wishes to be considered for any new position or vacant position and shall include in the notice the address to be used by the school district to notify the person of such positions.
117.25(3) (3)Dissolutions. If the board affirms the school board's dissolution order under s. 117.10 (4), the board's order shall specify that either sub. (1) (d) 1. or (2) (b) applies to employees of the dissolved school district and shall identify the other school district or school districts that shall be treated as the new consolidated school district or school district to which territory is attached for the purposes of sub. (1) (d) 1. or (2) (b). If the board's order identifies more than one such school district, it shall also identify which of the employees of the dissolved school district become employees of which of the identified school districts under sub. (1) (d) 1., or have priority for employment in which of the identified school districts under sub. (2) (b).
117.25(4) (4)Creations. When a school district is created under s. 117.105, all of the following apply:
117.25(4)(a) (a) Any employee of a school district from which territory is detached by the reorganization who is laid off as a result of the reorganization has priority over other persons for 3 years after the effective date of the reorganization for new positions and vacant positions for which he or she is qualified in the school district that is created by the reorganization.
117.25(4)(b) (b) Any person who wishes to exercise his or her priority under par. (a) shall notify the school district that is created by the reorganization, in writing, that he or she wishes to be considered for any new position or vacant position and shall include in the notice the address to be used by the school district to notify the person of such positions.
117.25 History History: 1989 a. 114, 287; 1995 a. 27 s. 9145 (1); 1997 a. 27, 286; 1999 a. 150 s. 672.
117.25 Annotation The relief afforded in sub. (2) (b) applies to teachers laid off after May 8, 1990 as the result of reorganization, regardless of the authority under which the reorganization was initiated. Laid off teachers may maintain a private action for damages for a violation of sub. (2) (b), as that provision creates a right to hiring priority, but not a remedy. Anderson v. School District of Ashland, 181 Wis. 2d 502, 510 N.W.2d 822 (Ct. App. 1993).
117.27 117.27 Change of district type.
117.27(1)(1)A common or union high school district may be changed into a unified school district, a unified school district operating only high school grades may be changed into a union high school district, and a unified school district operating only elementary grades or both elementary and high school grades may be changed into a common school district, if at least 30 days prior to the spring election a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40 requesting the change is filed with the school district clerk signed by at least 10 percent of the electors residing in the school district. The validity of the petition shall be governed by the rules promulgated under s. 8.40 (3).
117.27(2) (2)
117.27(2)(a)(a) The petition shall state that the school board of the predecessor school district shall become the first school board of the successor school district. Upon receipt of the petition, the school district clerk shall publish a class 1 notice, under ch. 985, of the filing of the petition. The notice shall include the date, time and place at which the school board shall hold a public hearing on the proposed change. The public hearing shall be held at least 7 days prior to the date of the spring election.
117.27(2)(b) (b) The school district clerk shall include in the notice of the spring election a statement that the election ballot will include a question on the change requested by the petition. The form of the ballot shall correspond to the form prescribed by the elections commission under ss. 5.64 (2) and 7.08 (1) (a) and the question on the ballot shall be:
“Shall the .... (name of school district) be a .... (type of school district structure set forth in the petition)?
Yes ....  No ...."
117.27(3) (3)If a majority of the electors voting at the spring election vote in favor of the change, the school board shall issue an order of school district reorganization effective on the July 1 following the spring election. A certified copy of the order shall be filed as provided under s. 117.17 (2).
117.27(4) (4)When the type of school district is changed, all property, assets, claims, contracts, liabilities and obligations of the predecessor school district become the property, assets, claims, contracts, liabilities and obligations of the successor school district.
117.27 History History: 1983 a. 27; 1985 a. 218; 1985 a. 225 ss. 57, 82; 1985 a. 332; 1989 a. 114 s. 11; Stats. 1989 s. 117.27; 1989 a. 192; 2007 a. 1; 2015 a. 118.
117.27 Annotation A nonbinding resolution declaring an intent to purchase real estate in the future does not create an “obligation" under sub. (4). Perritt Limited Partnership v. Kenosha Unified School District #1, 153 F.3d 489 (1998).
117.30 117.30 Attachment upon failure to operate school.
117.30(1)(1)
117.30(1)(a) (a) Except as provided under pars. (b) to (d), if a school district for 2 or more successive years has failed to operate sufficient classes at each grade level to provide all pupils who reside in the school district an opportunity to attend class at the appropriate grade level, the board shall attach the territory of the school district to one or more school districts that do so. Within 60 days of the date on which a school district becomes subject to this section, the state superintendent shall so notify the school district clerk and the clerk of each municipality in which part of the school district lies. Prior to August 30 of the year in which the school district becomes subject to this section, the board shall issue an order of school district reorganization attaching the school district to one or more operating school districts. Orders issued under this section take effect upon being filed as provided in s. 117.17 (2). The school board of each district to which any territory is attached under this section shall levy and collect a special tax against the property in the territory so attached for such amount as is payable for tuition and transportation, at the time of the attachment, by the school district in which the attached territory was located prior thereto, in the proportion that the equalized valuation of the attached territory bears to the total equalized valuation of the school district in which such territory was located prior to such attachment.
117.30(1)(b) (b) Before the end of the first school year beginning after the effective date of a reorganization under s. 117.105, the school board of the school district created by the reorganization may request the department to extend the 2-year time period under par. (a) by one year. The department may grant the extension, and may renew the extension for additional one-year periods, if the department determines that the school board has adequate plans and is making adequate progress toward operating sufficient classes at each grade level to provide all pupils who reside in the school district an opportunity to attend class at the appropriate grade level.
117.30(1)(c) (c) If a school district created under s. 117.105 fails to operate sufficient classes at each grade level to provide all pupils who reside in the school district an opportunity to attend class at the appropriate grade level before the end of the first school year beginning after the effective date of the reorganization under s. 117.105, plus the period of any extension granted under par. (b), the board's order under par. (a) shall reattach the territory of the school district to each of the school districts from which the territory was detached by the reorganization under s. 117.105, unless the school district from which the territory was detached is no longer an operating school district.
117.30(1)(d) (d) Paragraph (a) does not apply if the school district fails to operate one or more grades but provides for their operation by another school district pursuant to a whole grade sharing agreement under s. 118.50.
117.30(3) (3)If an order issued under this section is voided, the nonoperating school district shall arrange for the attendance of its pupils at the schools of one or more other school districts on a nonresident tuition basis, and shall provide transportation to and from such schools by the methods provided in s. 121.55 for all of its pupils who reside 2 miles or more from the school they attend. Until a valid order has been issued, the nonoperating school district may use such funds on hand as have been raised or appropriated for operation and maintenance or levy taxes to pay for such tuition and transportation. If an order is voided, the board shall issue new orders of school district reorganization within the succeeding year.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 18 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 1, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 1, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-1-19)