2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
May 4, 2017 - Introduced by Senators Bewley, Miller, Erpenbach, Ringhand,
Risser, Shilling and Vinehout, cosponsored by Representatives Pope,
Berceau, Considine, Genrich, Goyke, Hebl, Hesselbein, Kolste, Mason,
Ohnstad, Sargent, Spreitzer, Subeck, C. Taylor, Wachs and Zamarripa.
Referred to Committee on Education.
1An Act to amend
118.60 (4d) (b) 1. (intro.) and 121.91 (4) (n) 1.; and to create
118.60 (4e) of the statutes;
relating to: state aid to a school district of residence
3of a pupil attending a private school under the Racine and statewide parental
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill prohibits the Department of Public Instruction from making certain
reductions in state aid paid to a school district until the electors of a school district
have approved the reduction in state aid by a referendum vote. Current law requires
DPI to reduce the state aid paid to a school district in a school year by the amount
paid in that school year to a private school participating in the Racine or statewide
parental choice program for each pupil who resides in that school district but who
attends a private school under the Racine or statewide parental choice program.
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:
118.60 (4d) (b) 1. (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) 1. (intro.) Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, subject to sub.
s. 121.085 (1), the department shall decrease a school district's state aid 3
payment under s. 121.08 by an amount calculated as follows:
118.60 (4e) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) In this subsection:
1. “Circulator" has the meaning given for “qualified circulator" under s. 5.02 7
2. “Commission” means the elections commission.
(b) The department may not decrease a school district's state aid payment 10
under s. 121.08 as provided in sub. (4d) (b) until the school district qualifies as 11
provided under this subsection. A school district may not qualify under this 12
subsection until a petition is certified as provided in this paragraph and the petition 13
is approved at a referendum as provided in par. (d). A petition may not be certified 14
unless all of the following occur:
1. An individual, committee, or group files a registration statement with the 16
commission to initiate a petition to have the state aid paid to the school district under 17
s. 121.08 reduced as provided in sub. (4d) (b). The registration statement shall 18
include the name and mailing address of the individual, committee, or group 19
initiating the petition.
2. The individual, committee, or group circulates the petition and files the 21
petition with the commission no later than 60 days after the date on which the 22
registration statement is filed under subd. 1. The certification of a circulator shall 23
appear at the bottom of each petition filed with the commission. The certification of 24
the circulator shall include the name and mailing address of the individual, 25
committee, or group initiating the petition and a statement that he or she personally
circulated the petition and personally obtained each of the signatures; he or she 2
knows the signatures are of qualified electors, as described in s. 6.02, of the school 3
district that is the subject of the petition as the petition requires; he or she knows the 4
signers signed the petition with full knowledge of its content; he or she knows the 5
respective residences given for each signer; and he or she knows each signer signed 6
on the date stated opposite his or her signature. The certification shall also include 7
a statement that the circulator is a qualified elector of this state or, if not a qualified 8
elector of this state, is a U.S. citizen age 18 or older who, if he or she were a resident 9
of this state, would not be disqualified from voting under s. 6.03; that he or she 10
intends to support the implementation of the program under this section in the 11
school district that is the subject of the petition; and that he or she is aware that 12
falsifying the certification is punishable under s. 12.13 (3) (a). The circulator shall 13
indicate the date that he or she makes the certification next to his or her signature.
3. The commission, within 31 days after a petition is filed under subd. 2., 15
reviews the signatures to determine whether any signatures or petition sheets may 16
not be counted for the reasons provided in par. (c). If, after review, the commission 17
determines that the petition contains a number of signatures of qualified electors in 18
the school district that is the subject of the petition equal to not less than 20 percent 19
of the number of electors voting in the last election of school board members in the 20
school district, the commission shall certify that result to the school district clerk.
(c) 1. An individual signature on a petition sheet may not be counted if:
a. The signature is not dated.
b. The signature is dated outside the circulation period.
c. The signature is dated after the date of the certification contained on the 25
d. The residency of the signer of the petition sheet cannot be determined by the 2
e. The signature is that of an individual who is not a resident of the school 4
district that is the subject of the petition.
f. The signer has been adjudicated not to be a qualified elector on grounds of 6
incompetency or limited incompetency as provided in s. 6.03 (3).
g. The signer is not a qualified elector by reason of age.
h. The circulator knew or should have known that the signer, for any other 9
reason, was not a qualified elector.
2. No signature on the petition sheet may be counted if:
a. The circulator fails to sign his or her certification.
b. The circulator is not a qualified circulator.
(d) Within 10 days after the commission certifies the petition under par. (b) 3., 14
the school board shall notify the department of the scheduled date of the referendum 15
and submit a copy of the petition and certification to the department. The school 16
board shall call a special referendum for the purpose of submitting the petition to the 17
electors of the school district for approval or rejection. In lieu of a special referendum, 18
the school board may specify that the referendum be held at the next succeeding 19
spring primary or election or September primary or general election, if such election 20
is to be held not sooner than 42 days after the petition is certified by the commission. 21
The referendum shall be held in accordance with chs. 5 to 12. The form of the ballot 22
shall correspond substantially with the standard form for referendum ballots 23
prescribed by the commission under ss. 5.64 (2) and 7.08 (1) (a). The question 24
submitted shall be whether the reduction in state aid to the school district under s. 25
121.08, as provided for under s. 118.60 (4d) (b), shall be made. If a majority of those
voting on the question approve, the reduction in state aid shall be made as provided 2
in s. 118.60 (4d) (b). The school district clerk shall do all of the following:
1. Publish type A, B, C, D, and E notices of the referendum under s. 10.01 (2). 4
Notwithstanding s. 10.01 (2) (a), the type A notice shall include a copy of any 5
certificate submitted to the school district clerk by the commission under par. (b) 3. 6
and the question to be submitted to the voters as provided in this paragraph. Section 7
5.01 (1) applies in the event of failure to comply with the notice requirements of this 8
2. Provide the election officials with all necessary election supplies.
(e) The department shall make the reduction in state aid under s. 121.08 in a 11
school district that qualifies under this subsection in the first school year that begins 12
after the date on which the question submitted under par. (d) is approved.
(f) A school district that qualifies under this subsection shall remain qualified 14
under this subsection.
121.91 (4) (n) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
(n) 1. The
For a school district that qualifies as provided under s.
17118.60 (4e), beginning in the school year described in s. 118.60 (4e) (e) and annually
limit otherwise applicable to a school district under sub. (2m) in any 19
school year is increased by an amount equal to the amount determined for that school 20
district under s. 118.60 (4d) (b) 1.