The offices of president of a common school district board and chairperson of a town board within the district and the offices of school board member and town clerk are probably compatible. 74 Atty. Gen. 50
Election of school board members.
In a common or union high school district:
The school board shall be elected at the spring election.
Except as provided under par. (b)
, school board members shall be electors of the school district and shall be elected at large by a plurality vote of the electors of the school district.
School board members elected to a school board in an election under s. 117.22 (2) (bm)
shall reside in the territory of the school district created by the reorganization.
The regular terms of school board members shall be 3 years, except as otherwise provided under s. 17.26
School board members elected for regular or unexpired terms shall take office, provided they have taken and filed the official oath, on the 4th Monday in April.
In a school district which does not contain territory lying within a 2nd class city, the school board may, or in a common or union high school district the school board or annual meeting may, by resolution adopted not later than the last Tuesday in November preceding an election for members of the school board, require that nomination papers be filed by all candidates seeking election to the school board. If the school board or annual meeting has previously required the filing of nomination papers in such a school district, the body imposing the requirement may, by similar resolution adopted not later than the last Tuesday in November preceding an election for members of the school board, rescind the requirement.
No later than the 4th Tuesday in November prior to the spring election, the school district clerk shall publish a type A notice of the school district election under s. 10.01 (2) (a)
Except as authorized in this paragraph, no later than 5 p.m. on the first Tuesday in January prior to the spring election, or on the next day if Tuesday is a holiday, any qualified elector of the school district may file a sworn declaration of candidacy with the school district clerk in the form provided in s. 8.21
at the place specified in the notice. If the school district contains territory lying within a 2nd class city, or if the school board or annual meeting requires nomination papers under par. (a)
, any qualified elector of the school district who desires to be a candidate shall in addition file nomination papers in the form prescribed under s. 8.10 (2)
with the school district clerk at the place specified in the notice.
If an incumbent fails to file a declaration of candidacy, and nomination papers, where required, within the time prescribed by this paragraph, all candidates for the office held by the incumbent, other than the incumbent, may file a declaration of candidacy and nomination papers, where required, no later than 72 hours after the latest time prescribed in this paragraph. No extension of the time for filing a declaration of candidacy or nomination papers applies if the incumbent files written notification with the school district clerk, no later than 5 p.m. on the 2nd Friday preceding the latest time prescribed in this paragraph for filing declarations of candidacy, that the incumbent is not a candidate for reelection to his or her office, and the incumbent does not file a declaration of candidacy for that office within the time prescribed in this paragraph.
In the case of a 3-member school board, the qualified elector shall state in his or her declaration of candidacy and on the face of his or her nomination papers, if any, the office for which the elector is a candidate. In the case of an apportioned or numbered school board, the qualified elector shall state in his or her declaration of candidacy and on the face of his or her nomination papers, if any, the apportioned area or numbered seat for which the elector is a candidate.
If a candidate has not filed a registration statement under s. 11.05
by the time he or she files a declaration of candidacy, the candidate shall file the statement with the declaration. A candidate shall file an amended declaration under oath with the school district clerk in the event of a change in any information provided in the declaration as provided in s. 8.21
No later than 5 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday in January, the school district clerk shall verify the declarations of candidacy and certify the names of candidates who have filed valid nomination papers, where required, and who qualify for office. In making verifications or certifications, the school district clerk shall designate the form of each candidate's name to appear on the ballot in the manner prescribed in s. 7.08 (2) (a)
. Once filed, a declaration of candidacy or nomination papers may not be withdrawn.
The school board shall require a primary election if there are more than 2 candidates for any seat on a 3-member board or more than twice as many candidates as there are members to be elected to an unnumbered school board of more than 3 members. In school districts in which a plan of apportionment of school board members under s. 120.02 (2)
or a plan for election of school board members to numbered seats has been adopted, the school board shall require a primary election for particular apportioned areas for which there are more than twice as many candidates as there are members to be elected and for any numbered seat for which there are more than 2 candidates. When there is a primary election it shall be held in conjunction with the spring primary.
The school district clerk shall do all of the following:
Notify the municipal clerk of each municipality lying wholly or partially within the school district of the primary election if one is to be held and of the spring election and furnish those municipal clerks with a copy of the notice of the school board election.
Determine for the primary, if any, and again for the spring election the order in which the names of candidates shall appear on the ballot by supervising the drawing of lots not later than the 2nd Tuesday in January, or the next day if the first Tuesday is a holiday, and the 2nd day following the completion of the canvass of the primary election, if any.
Cause to be given a class 1 notice, in accordance with ch. 985
, on the Monday before the primary election, if one is to be held, and on the Monday before the spring election. If publication is made in a newspaper which does not publish on Monday, publication shall be made on the closest preceding day on which the newspaper publishes. If the school district clerk determines that due to the method of delivering newspapers in the school district more effective notice will be provided by publication at an earlier date, the school district clerk may publish the notice not earlier than 3 days before the primary or election. The notice shall contain the following information:
The names of all candidates in the order in which they are listed on the ballot.
The location and open hours of polling places and a designation of which persons should vote at each polling place.
Where paper ballots are utilized at a spring primary or election, provide the municipal clerk an adequate supply of ballots for the primary or election at least 22 days before the primary or election.
Receive all ballots after they have been counted, reported and secured.
After the spring primary, if any, after the spring election, and after any special primary, election or referendum, assure that the returns are canvassed as provided in sub. (14)
and s. 7.53 (3)
Retain and supervise the destruction of election materials from the primary, if any, and the spring election pursuant to s. 7.23
insofar as applicable.
Whenever a recount of a primary or other election is required, assure that the recount is conducted by the municipal and school district boards of canvassers pursuant to s. 9.01
The primary and spring elections for school board members shall be conducted by the election officials for state and municipal elections. In a school board election held in conjunction with a state, county, municipal or judicial election, the polling places for the state, county, municipal or judicial election shall be the polling places for the school board election and the municipal election hours shall apply. If no state, county, municipal or judicial election is held on the day of the school board election, the school board may select the polling places to be used. The election costs shall be charged as provided in ss. 5.68
The school board may not select a polling place to be closed under par. (a)
Ten percent or more of the electors voting in the last school board election voted at the polling place; or
The polling place is located in a municipality which is located entirely within the school district.
The school board shall post a notice on the door of any polling place not selected indicating all polling places selected and open for voting.
Within 8 days after the election or appointment of any person to the school board, the school district clerk shall notify the person of his or her election or appointment. Notice of election shall be provided in the manner prescribed in s. 7.53 (3) (a)
. On or prior to the day provided for taking office, a school board member shall take and file the official oath.
The absentee ballot provisions of ss. 6.84
apply to elections under this section. Voting machines or an electronic voting system shall be used in any city, village or town lying wholly or partially within a school district conducting an election under this section if the machines or system are required under s. 5.40
An election in accordance with s. 17.26
to fill an unexpired term on a school board shall be held in the same manner as a regular school board election is held. In the case of a school board of more than 3 members, elections to fill unexpired terms shall be held simultaneously with the elections for regular terms, the regular terms to be filled by the appropriate number of candidates receiving the highest number of votes and the unexpired terms to be filled by the appropriate number of candidates receiving the next highest number of votes.
A person attempting to vote at an election of school board members may be challenged as provided in s. 6.92
or 120.08 (3)
The school district clerk shall receive the returns of each school district election, as compiled by the inspectors at each polling place of each municipality in which the school district is contained, from the municipal clerk of that municipality. The school district shall then canvass and determine the results of the election.
Unless otherwise provided by this chapter, s. 117.22
, or other applicable law, the elections for school board members shall be guided by the municipal election laws.
School district meetings.
Every elector of a common or union high school district is eligible to vote at an annual or special meeting of the school district.
Common school districts shall hold an annual meeting on the 4th Monday in July at 8 p.m. and union high school districts shall hold an annual meeting on the 3rd Monday in July at 8 p.m. unless the electors at one annual meeting determine to thereafter hold the annual meeting on a different date or hour, or authorize the school board to establish a different date or hour. No annual meeting may be held before May 15 or after October 31. The first school district meeting in a common or union high school district created under s. 117.08
, or 117.27
shall be considered an annual meeting.
The place of the annual meeting shall be in a schoolhouse in the school district. If a schoolhouse which will accommodate the electors is not available, the place of the annual meeting shall be the nearest available place designated by the school board.
The school district clerk shall publish a class 2 notice, under ch. 985
, of the time and place of the annual meeting, the last insertion to be not more than 8 days nor less than one day before the annual meeting. The school district clerk shall give like notice for any adjourned meeting, if the adjournment is for more than 30 days. No annual meeting shall be deemed illegal for want of notice.
Upon petition filed with the school district clerk signed by 3% of the electors residing in the school district or 100 electors, whichever is fewer, or upon the motion of the school board in a common or union high school district, a special meeting shall be called by the school district clerk or, in his or her absence, by the school district president or school district treasurer. If the petition includes a subject beyond the power of the special meeting to transact, the school district clerk shall reject such subject and so notify each elector signing the petition.
Notice of a special meeting shall be published as a class 2 notice, under ch. 985
. The last insertion shall be not more than 8 days nor less than one day before the day of the special meeting. If no hour for the special meeting is fixed in the notice, it shall be held at 8 p.m.
A special meeting has the powers of the annual meeting. No more than 2 special meetings may be held between annual meetings to consider or act upon the same subject, except that in counties having a population of 500,000 or more no more than 4 such meetings may be held. No tax may be voted at a special meeting, unless notice thereof is included in the notice under par. (b)
. The amount of the tax proposed to be voted shall be set forth in the notice. The special meeting may vote a tax of a lesser amount than stated in the notice, but not a greater amount.
If a person attempting to vote at an annual or special meeting is challenged, the chairperson of the meeting shall state to the person challenged the qualifications necessary to vote at the meeting. If such person declares that he or she is eligible to vote and if such challenge is not withdrawn, the chairperson shall administer the following oath or affirmation to him or her: "You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you are an actual resident of this school district and that you are qualified, according to law, to vote at this meeting". A person taking such oath or affirmation shall be permitted to vote, but if that person refuses to take such oath or affirmation that person may not vote.
Consideration of special subject.
If in a common or union high school district at least 60 days prior to the annual meeting a petition is filed with the school district clerk signed by 100 electors requesting that the annual meeting consider a special subject or item of business which is a proper subject or item for consideration at the annual meeting, the school district clerk shall incorporate a statement of the subject or item in the notice of the annual meeting. The school district clerk shall prepare the proper ballot to permit voting on the subject or item at the annual meeting. If the petition includes a subject beyond the power of the annual meeting, the school district clerk shall reject that part of the petition which contains such subject and notify the proper person within 20 days of the school district clerk's receipt of the petition. The petition shall designate a person or a representative of an organization to be notified in case of its rejection.
History: 1975 c. 138
Powers of annual meeting.
The annual meeting of a common or union high school district may:
(1) Chairperson and clerk.
Elect a chairperson and, in the absence of the school district clerk, elect a person to act as the clerk of the meeting.
Adjourn from time to time.
(3) Salaries of school board members.
Vote annual salaries for school board members or an amount for each school board meeting the member actually attends.
(4) Reimbursement of school board members.
Authorize the payment of actual and necessary expenses of a school board member when traveling in the performance of duties and the reimbursement of a school board member for actual loss of earnings when duties require the school board member to be absent from regular employment.
(5) Building sites.
Designate sites for school district buildings and provide for the erection of suitable buildings or for the lease of suitable buildings for a period not exceeding 20 years with annual rentals fixed by the lease.
(5m) Real estate.
Authorize the school board to acquire, by purchase or condemnation under ch. 32
, real estate and structures and facilities appurtenant to such real estate necessary for school district purposes.
(6) Tax for sites, buildings and maintenance.
Vote a tax to purchase or lease suitable sites for school buildings, to build, rent, lease or purchase and furnish, equip and maintain school district buildings. The tax may be spread over as many years as are required to pay any obligations approved or authorized at the annual meeting including rental payments due in future years under an authorized lease.
(7) Tax for transportation vehicles.
Vote a tax to purchase, operate and maintain transportation vehicles and to purchase liability insurance for such vehicles, and to finance contracts for the use and services of such vehicles.
(8) Tax for operation.
Vote a tax for the operation of the schools of the school district.
(9) Tax for debts.
Vote a tax necessary to discharge any debts or liabilities of the school district.
(10) School debt service fund.
Vote a tax to create a fund for the purpose of paying all current bonded indebtedness for capital expenditures. All money raised through taxation or otherwise collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited by the school district treasurer in a segregated fund. Such money shall not be used for any other purpose, except as provided by s. 67.11 (1)
, or be transferred to any other fund except by authorization by a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of electors of the school district.
(10m) School capital expansion fund.
Vote a tax to create a fund for the purpose of financing all current and future capital expenditures related to buildings and sites. All money raised through taxation or otherwise collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited by the school district treasurer in a segregated fund. Such money shall not be used for any other purpose or be transferred to any other fund except by authorization by a majority vote of the electors present at a subsequent annual meeting and only if notice that the issue would be on the agenda was included in the notice of the subsequent annual meeting under s. 120.08 (1) (c)
(11) Tax for recreation authority.
Vote a tax for the purposes specified in s. 66.0123
(12) Sale of property.
Authorize the sale of any property belonging to and not needed by the school district. If a school site or other lands are to be abandoned which were acquired or are held upon condition that they revert to the prior owner when no longer used for school purposes, the school board shall sell any school buildings thereon or move them to another site within 8 months after the school buildings cease to be used for school purposes or the site ceases to be maintained as a school district playground or park.
(14) Legal proceedings.
Direct and provide for the prosecution or defense of any action or proceedings in which the school district is interested.
Authorize the school board to furnish textbooks under conditions prescribed by the annual meeting or by the school board. The authorization shall continue in effect until revoked by a subsequent annual meeting.
(16) School lunches.
Direct the school board to furnish school lunches to the pupils of the school district and appropriate funds for that purpose.
(19) Consolidation of high schools.
In a union high school district, vote to consolidate schools or to discontinue a school where more than one high school is operated by the school district.
An action may be instituted and maintained by the school district board without specific approval of the district when management, control, and conservation of school district property requires speedy application for process. Chilton Joint School Dist. No. 1 v. City of Chilton, 78 Wis. 2d 52
, 253 N.W.2d 879
The power to convert an elementary school to another educational use is not granted by subs. (5) or (12). The school board has this power under s. 120.13 (1). Waldeck v. Goedken, 84 Wis. 2d 408
, 267 N.W.2d 362
Sub. (10) authorizes levying a tax for the purposes of current or future capital expenditures even without corresponding, existing bonded indebtedness. Barth v. Monroe Board of Education, 108 Wis. 2d 511
, 322 N.W.2d 694
(Ct. App. 1982).
Nothing in sub. (6) limits a district from paying a building lease from a general fund raised by the levy of taxes under sub. (8) for school operations. Deick v. Unified School District of Antigo, 165 Wis. 2d 458
, 477 N.W.2d 613
A common school district's authority under sub. (12) to lease surplus property is discussed. 67 Atty. Gen. 332.
School board meetings and reports. 120.11(1)
The school board in a common or union high school district shall hold a regular meeting at least once each month at a time and place determined by the school board and may hold special school board meetings under sub. (2)
. A majority of the school board members constitute a quorum at a regular or special school board meeting. The school district president shall preside at school board meetings. In the president's absence, the school district vice president shall preside or, in the case of a 3-member board, the school board may select another school board member to preside. The school district clerk shall record the minutes of school board meetings and, in his or her absence, the school board may select another school board member to act as the clerk of the meeting.
A special school board meeting shall be held upon the written request of any school board member. The request shall be filed with the school district clerk or, in the clerk's absence, the school district president who shall notify in writing each school board member of the time and place of the special school board meeting at least 24 hours before the meeting. The notice shall be delivered to each school board member personally or shall be left at the usual place of abode of the school board member or shall be mailed by 1st class mail to the usual place of abode of the school board member so as to arrive at least 24 hours before the special school board meeting. A special school board meeting may be held without prior notice, if all school board members are present and consent, or if every school board member consents in writing even though he or she does not attend.
Before the annual meeting, the school board shall meet to examine the accounts of the school district treasurer and to prepare a full, itemized written report which shall be presented and read at the annual meeting. The report shall state all receipts and expenditures of the school district since the last annual meeting, the current cash balance of the school district, the amount of the deficit and the bills payable of the school district, the amount necessary to be raised by taxation for the support of the schools of the school district for the ensuing year and the amount required to pay the interest and principal of any debt due during the ensuing year. The report also shall include the budget summary required under s. 65.90
. If a school board has established a trust described in s. 66.0603 (1m) (b) 3.
, the report shall also state the amount in the trust, the investment return earned by the trust since the last annual meeting, the total of disbursements made from the trust since the last annual meeting, and the name of the investment manager if investment authority has been delegated under s. 66.0603 (3) (b)
. The school district clerk shall copy the report, with the action taken thereon, and all other proceedings of the annual meeting in full in the school district record book.
The proceedings of a school board meeting shall be published within 45 days after the meeting as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985
, in a newspaper published in the school district, if any, or publicized by school district-wide distribution prepared and directed by the school board and paid out of school funds. If there is no newspaper published in the school district, the proceedings shall be posted or published as the school board directs. For the purpose of publication, the proceedings shall include the substance of every official action taken by the school board at the meeting and a statement of receipts and expenditures in the aggregate. The school board shall make a detailed record of all receipts and expenditures available to the public for inspection at each school board meeting and upon request.