LRB-5386/1
ARG:emw
2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
February 21, 2018 - Introduced by Senator Vinehout, cosponsored by
Representatives Vruwink, Pope, Berceau, Sargent, Subeck, Anderson and
Spreitzer. Referred to Committee on Education.
SB841,1,3 1An Act to create 20.235 (1) (fr) and 39.387 of the statutes; relating to: creation
2of a grant program for teachers employed by sparsely populated school districts
3and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill creates a rural teacher grant program, administered by the Higher
Educational Aids Board, to encourage teachers to teach in rural schools.
Under current law, HEAB administers various financial assistance programs
to assist teachers. Those programs include programs under which HEAB provides
loans to college students and then forgives a certain amount of those loans after the
loan recipient has been employed as a teacher in a high-demand area in a rural
school district or a school in the city of Milwaukee, as a teacher of visually impaired
pupils or as an orientation and mobility instructor in this state, or, for a minority
student, as a teacher in a high-demand area in a school in the city of Milwaukee.
This bill creates a grant program to encourage eligible teachers to teach in
schools operated by eligible school districts. Under the bill, 1) an “eligible school
district" is a school district whose membership in the school year preceding the school
year for which a grant is awarded under the grant program divided by the school
district's area in square miles is less than ten and 2) an “eligible teacher" is a teacher
who teaches in a school operated by an eligible school district.
The bill requires HEAB to grant financial assistance to an eligible teacher who
is nominated by his or her school district for participation in the grant program and
who submits a claim for that financial assistance after each year in which the eligible

teacher teaches in such a school. The claim must 1) include the signature of the
eligible teacher and of a representative of the school district employing the eligible
teacher certifying that during the period for which financial assistance is claimed,
the school district was an eligible school district and the eligible teacher taught in
a school operated by that eligible school district; 2) include a commitment by the
eligible teacher that he or she will use the financial assistance to repay student loans
incurred to defray the cost of tuition, fees, and expenses for programs of study
relating to the teaching profession; and 3) provide such other information as HEAB
may require by rule to verify the claimant's eligibility for financial assistance.
The maximum amount of financial assistance that an eligible teacher may
receive under the grant program is $1,000 for the first school year, $2,000 for the
second school year, $2,000 for the third school year, $2,000 for the fourth school year,
and $3,000 for the fifth school year in which the eligible teacher participates in the
grant program. An eligible teacher may receive financial assistance under the grant
program for no more than five school years. No more than four eligible teachers
employed by a given eligible school district may participate in the grant program in
a given school year.
For further information see the state 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:
SB841,1 1Section 1 . 20.005 (3) (schedule) of the statutes: at the appropriate place, insert
2the following amounts for the purposes indicated: - See PDF for table PDF
SB841,2 3Section 2 . 20.235 (1) (fr) of the statutes is created to read:
SB841,2,54 20.235 (1) (fr) Rural teacher grant program. Biennially, the amounts in the
5schedule for the rural teacher grant program under s. 39.387.
SB841,3 6Section 3 . 39.387 of the statutes is created to read:
SB841,2,7 739.387 Rural teacher grant program. (1) Definitions. In this section:
SB841,3,4
1(a) “Eligible school district" means a school district whose membership in the
2school year preceding the school year for which a grant is awarded to an eligible
3teacher under sub. (4) divided by the school district's area in square miles is less than
410.
SB841,3,65 (b) “Eligible teacher" means a teacher who meets the eligibility requirements
6specified in sub. (3).
SB841,3,10 7(2) Establishment of program. There is established, to be administered by the
8board, a rural teacher grant program to encourage eligible teachers to teach in
9schools operated by eligible school districts by providing grants of financial
10assistance to those eligible teachers as provided in sub. (4).
SB841,3,12 11(3) Eligibility. A teacher is eligible for financial assistance as provided under
12sub. (4) if the teacher meets all of the following requirements:
SB841,3,1313 (a) He or she teaches in a school operated by an eligible school district.
SB841,3,1714 (b) He or she does not appear on the statewide support lien docket under s.
1549.854 (2) (b), unless the teacher provides to the board a payment agreement that has
16been approved by the county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5) and that is
17consistent with rules promulgated under s. 49.858 (2) (a).
SB841,4,7 18(4) Financial assistance. (a) From the appropriation under s. 20.235 (1) (fr),
19the board shall grant financial assistance to eligible teachers who are nominated by
20their school districts for participation in the grant program as provided in par. (b) and
21who submit claims for that financial assistance as provided in par. (c). The maximum
22amount of financial assistance that an eligible teacher may receive under this
23subsection is $1,000 for the first school year, $2,000 for the 2nd school year, $2,000
24for the 3rd school year, $2,000 for the 4th school year, and $3,000 for the 5th school
25year in which the eligible teacher participates in the grant program. An eligible

1teacher may receive financial assistance under this subsection for no more than 5
2school years. An eligible teacher who receives financial assistance under this
3subsection shall use that financial assistance only for the purpose of repaying
4student loans incurred to defray the cost of tuition, fees, and expenses for programs
5of study relating to the teaching profession. The board may provide financial
6assistance on a prorated basis to an eligible teacher who is employed less than full
7time.
SB841,4,158 (b) An eligible school district may nominate an eligible teacher for participation
9in the grant program by submitting that nomination to the board in a form prescribed
10by the board. No more than 4 eligible teachers employed by a given eligible school
11district may participate in the grant program in a given school year. The nomination
12shall include such information as the board may require to establish that the school
13district employing the teacher is an eligible school district and that the teacher is an
14eligible teacher and shall provide any other information the board may require by
15rule promulgated under sub. (5).
SB841,5,216 (c) After each year in which an eligible teacher who has been accepted for
17participation in the grant program teaches in a school operated by an eligible school
18district, the eligible teacher may submit to the board a claim for financial assistance.
19The claim shall include the signature of the eligible teacher and of a representative
20of the school district employing the eligible teacher certifying that during the period
21for which financial assistance is claimed, the school district was an eligible school
22district and the eligible teacher taught in a school operated by that eligible school
23district, shall include a commitment by the eligible teacher that he or she will use
24the financial assistance to repay student loans incurred to defray the cost of tuition,
25fees, and expenses for programs of study relating to the teaching profession, and

1shall provide such other information as the board may require by rule promulgated
2under sub. (5) to verify the claimant's eligibility for financial assistance.
SB841,5,93 (d) If the board determines that a claimant under par. (c) is eligible to receive
4financial assistance under this subsection, the board shall provide that assistance,
5subject to the amounts available in the appropriation account under s. 20.235 (1) (fr).
6If the amount of financial assistance claimed in a fiscal year exceeds the amounts
7available in that appropriation account, the board shall prorate the financial
8assistance paid in that fiscal year in the proportion that the amounts available bear
9to the total amount of financial assistance payable in that fiscal year.
SB841,5,14 10(5) Rules. The board shall promulgate rules to implement and administer this
11section. Those rules shall include rules specifying the information a school district
12must include in a nomination for participation in the grant program under sub. (4)
13(b) and the information a teacher must include in a claim for financial assistance
14under sub. (4) (c).
SB841,4 15Section 4. Initial applicability.
SB841,5,1916 (1) Rural teacher grant program. This act first applies to an eligible teacher,
17as defined in section 39.387 (1) (b) of the statutes, as created by this act, who teaches
18in a school operated by an eligible school district, as defined in section 39.387 (1) (a)
19of the statutes, as created by this act, in the 2018-19 school year.
SB841,5,2020 (End)
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