118.30 (1) The state superintendent shall adopt or approve examinations designed to measure pupil attainment of knowledge and concepts in the 4th, 8th and 10th grades.
118.30 (1m) of the statutes is created to read:
118.30 (1m) Except as otherwise provided in this section, annually each school board shall do all of the following:
(a) Beginning in the 1996-97 school year, administer the 4th grade examination to all pupils enrolled in the school district, including pupils enrolled in charter schools located in the school district, in the 4th grade.
(am) Administer the 8th grade examination to all pupils enrolled in the school district, including pupils enrolled in charter schools located in the school district, in the 8th grade.
(b) Administer the 10th grade examination to all pupils enrolled in the school district, including pupils enrolled in charter schools located in the school district, in the 10th grade.
118.30 (2) (b) 3. of the statutes is amended to read:
118.30 (2) (b) 3. Annually, the school board shall notify the parent or guardian of each pupil enrolled in the 8th and 10th grades in the school district, including pupils enrolled in charter schools located in the school district, that he or she may request the school board to excuse the pupil from taking an examination administered under this section. Upon the request of a pupil's parent or guardian, the school board shall excuse the pupil from taking an examination administered under this section.
118.30 (2) (b) 4. of the statutes is repealed.
118.30 (4) of the statutes is created to read:
118.30 (4) The department shall study the utility of administering technology-based performance assessments to pupils.
118.37 (3) (b) and (3m) (b) of the statutes are amended to read:
118.37 (3) (b) If the pupil specifies in the notice under par. (a) that he or she intends to take a course at an institution of higher education for high school credit, the school board shall determine whether the course is comparable to a course offered in the school district, and whether the course satisfies any of the high school graduation requirements under s. 118.33 and the number of high school credits to award the pupil for the course, if any. The state superintendent department shall develop guidelines to assist school districts in making the determinations. The school board shall notify the pupil of its determinations, in writing, before the end of the semester in which it received the notice under par. (a). If the pupil disagrees with the school board's decision regarding comparability of courses, satisfaction of high school graduation requirements or the number of high school credits to be awarded, the pupil may appeal the school board's decision to the state superintendent
department within 30 days after the decision. The state superintendent's department's decision shall be final and is not subject to review under subch. III of ch. 227.
(3m) (b) The state superintendent
department may waive the requirement under par. (a) if he or she
the department determines that the requirement would impose too great a cost because of the lack of equipment or space.
118.38 of the statutes is created to read:
118.38 Waivers of laws and rules.
(1) (a) A school board may request the department to waive any school board or school district requirement in chs. 115 to 121 or in the administrative rules promulgated by the department under the authority of those chapters, except for statutes or rules related to any of the following:
1. The health or safety of pupils.
2. Pupil discrimination under s. 118.13.
3. The pupil assessment program under s. 118.30 and the standardized reading test required under s. 121.02 (1) (r).
4. Pupil records under s. 118.125.
5. The collection of data by the department.
6. The uniform financial fund accounting system under ss. 115.28 (13) and 115.30 (1) and audits of school district accounts under s. 120.14.
7. Licensure or certification under s. 115.28 (7) or (7m) other than the licensure of the school district administrator or business manager.
(b) Before requesting a waiver, the school board shall hold a public hearing in the school district on the request.
(1m) The school board shall specify in its request for a waiver its reason for requesting the waiver.
(2) In determining whether to grant the waiver, the department shall consider all of the following factors and may consider additional factors:
(a) Whether the requirement impedes progress toward achieving a local improvement plan developed under sec. 309 (a) (3) of P.L. 103-227.
(b) If the school board has adopted educational goals for the school district, whether the requirement impedes progress toward achieving the goals.
(2m) Beginning on January 1, 1996, a school board shall submit a request for a waiver to the secretary. If the secretary denies a waiver, the school board may, within 30 days after the denial, appeal the denial to the commission. The commission shall issue a decision on the appeal within 30 days after receiving the appeal.
(3) A waiver is effective for 4 years. The secretary shall renew the waiver for additional 4-year periods if the school board has evaluated the educational and financial effects of the waiver over the previous 4-year period, except that the secretary is not required to renew a waiver if the secretary determines that the school district is not making adequate progress toward improving pupil academic performance.
(4) By July 1, 2000, the department shall submit a report to the governor, and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3). The report shall specify the number of waivers requested under this section, a description of each waiver request, the reason given for each waiver request and the educational and financial effects on the school district of each waiver that was granted.
118.40 (1) of the statutes is repealed and recreated to read:
118.40 (1) Notice to state superintendent. Whenever a school board intends to establish a charter school, it shall notify the state superintendent of its intention. The notice shall include a description of the proposed school.
118.40 (1m) (b) 16. of the statutes is created to read:
118.40 (1m) (b) 16. Quantifiable performance improvement standards.
118.40 (2) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
118.40 (2) (a) If a school board has received approval under sub. (1), within Within 30 days after receiving a petition under sub. (1m) the school board shall hold a public hearing on the petition. At the hearing, the school board shall consider the level of employe and parental support for the establishment of the charter school described in the petition. After the hearing, the school board may grant the petition.
118.40 (2) (b) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
118.40 (2) (b) (intro.) Subject to sub. (1), a A school board may grant a petition that would result in the conversion of all of the public schools in the school district to charter schools if all of the following apply:
118.40 (2) (c) of the statutes is created to read:
118.40 (2) (c) The school board of the school district operating under ch. 119 shall either grant or deny the petition within 30 days after the public hearing. If the school board of the school district operating under ch. 119 denies a petition, the person seeking to establish the charter school may, within 30 days after the denial, appeal the denial to the department. The department shall issue a decision within 30 days after receiving the appeal. The department's decision is final and not subject to judicial review under ch. 227.
118.40 (2m) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
118.40 (2m) (a) If a school board has received approval under sub. (1), the A school board may on its own initiative contract with an individual or group to operate a school as a charter school. The contract shall include all of the provisions specified under sub. (1m) (b) and may include other provisions agreed to by the parties.
118.40 (3) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
118.40 (3) (b) A contract under par. (a) or under sub. (2m) may be for any term not exceeding 5 school years and may be renewed for one or more terms not exceeding 5 school years. The contract shall specify the amount to be paid by the school board to the charter school during each school year of the contract. In any school year, the school board may not spend on average more per pupil enrolled in the charter school than the school board spends on average per pupil enrolled in the public schools, excluding charter schools, as determined by the state superintendent.
118.40 (3) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
118.40 (3) (c) A school board may not enter into a contract for the establishment of a charter school located outside the school district or, except that if 2 or more school boards enter into an agreement under s. 66.30 to establish a charter school, the charter school shall be located within one of the school districts. A school board, other than the school board of the school district operating under ch. 119, may not enter into a contract that would result in the conversion of a private school to a charter school.
118.40 (3m) of the statutes is repealed.
118.40 (7) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
118.40 (7) (a) A charter school is an instrumentality of the school district in which it is located and the school board of that school district shall employ all personnel for the charter school. This paragraph does not apply to charter schools located in the school district operating under ch. 119.
118.43 of the statutes is created to read:
118.43 Achievement guarantee contracts; state aid. (1) Definitions. In this section:
(a) “Class size" means the number of pupils assigned to a regular classroom teacher on the 3rd Friday of September.
(b) “Low income" means the measure of low income that is used by the school district under 20 USC 2723.
(2) Eligibility; application. (a) The school board of any school district in which a school in the previous school year had an enrollment that was at least 50% low-income is eligible to participate in the program under this section.
(b) In the 1996-97 school year, the school board of an eligible school district may enter into a 5-year achievement guarantee contract with the department on behalf of one school in the school district if all of the following apply:
1. In the previous school year, the school had an enrollment that was at least 30% low-income.
2. The school board is not receiving a grant under the preschool to grade 5 program on behalf of the school under s. 115.45.
(c) Notwithstanding par. (b), the school board of the school district operating under ch. 119 may enter into an achievement guarantee contract on behalf of up to 10 schools.
(d) If an eligible school district has more than one school that qualifies under par. (b), the school board shall apply on behalf of the school with the largest number of low-income pupils in grades kindergarten and one.
(e) 1. If the school board of an eligible school district does not enter into an achievement guarantee contract with the department, a school board that has entered into such a contract, other than the school board of the school district operating under ch. 119, may apply to the department to enter into such a contract on behalf of one additional school that meets the requirements under par. (b).
2. If more than one school board applies under subd. 1., the department shall determine which school board to contract with based on the number of low-income pupils in grades kindergarten and one enrolled in the schools and on the balance of rural and urban school districts currently participating in the program.
(f) The department may not enter into an achievement guarantee contract with a school board on behalf of a school after June 30, 1997.
(3) Contract requirements. An achievement guarantee contract shall require the school board to do all of the following in each participating school:
(a) Class size. Reduce each class size to 15 in the following manner:
1. In the 1996-97 school year, in at least grades kindergarten and one.
2. In the 1997-98 school year, in at least grades kindergarten to 2.
3. In the 1998-99 to 2000-01 school years, in at least grades kindergarten to 3.
(b) Education and human services. 1. Keep the school open every day from early in the morning until late in the day, as specified in the contract.
2. Collaborate with community organizations to make educational and recreational opportunities, as well as a variety of community and social services, available in the school to all school district residents.
(c) Curriculum. 1. Provide a rigorous academic curriculum designed to improve pupil academic achievement
and to prepare pupils to live and work with people of all backgrounds, cultures and beliefs.
2. In consultation with the department and with the participation of the school's teachers and administrators and school district residents, review the school's current curriculum to determine how well it promotes pupil academic achievement
and prepares pupils for life and work and the extent to which it includes the contributions of women and minorities to our history and culture.
3. If necessary, outline any changes
necessary to make the curriculum more accurate and relevant to the lives of the pupils and provide a schedule for accomplishing those changes.
4. Encourage the school's teachers and administrators to participate in training designed to help them learn about multicultural education and how to infuse it into the curriculum to help improve pupil academic achievement.
(d) Staff development and accountability. 1. Develop a one-year program for all newly hired employes that helps them make the transition from their previous employment or school to their current employment.
2. Provide time for employes to collaborate and plan.
3. Require that each teacher and administrator submit to the school board a professional development plan that focuses on how the individual will help improve pupil academic achievement. The plan shall include a method by which the individual will receive evaluations on the success of his or her efforts from a variety of sources.
4. Regularly review staff development plans to determine if they are effective in helping to improve pupil academic achievement.
5. Establish an evaluation process for professional staff members that does all of the following:
a. Identifies individual strengths and weaknesses.
b. Clearly describes areas in need of improvement.
c. Includes a support plan that provides opportunities to learn and improve.
d. Systematically documents performance in accordance with the plan.
e. Allows professional staff members to comment on and contribute to revisions in the evaluation process.
f. Provides for the dismissal of professional staff members whose failure to learn and improve has been documented over a 2-year period.
(4) Other contract provisions. Each achievement guarantee contract shall include all of the following:
(a) A description of how the school will implement each of the elements under sub. (3), including any alternative class configurations for specific educational activities that may be used to meet the class size requirement under sub. (3) (a).
(b) A description of the method that the school district will use to evaluate the academic achievement of the pupils enrolled in the school.
(c) A description of the school's performance objectives for the academic achievement of the pupils enrolled in the school and the means that will be used to evaluate success in attaining the objectives. Performance objectives shall include all of the following: