2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
November 27, 2019 - Introduced by Senators Darling and Bernier, cosponsored
by Representatives Thiesfeldt, Fields, Nygren, Allen, Krug, Macco, Novak,
Ramthun, Rodriguez, Steffen, Tusler, VanderMeer and Wittke. Referred to
Committee on Education.
1An Act to repeal
20.255 (3) (df); and to create
20.255 (3) (df) of the statutes; 2relating to: an online early learning pilot program and making an
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill requires the Department of Public Instruction to award a three-year
contract to a service provider to administer an online early learning program to
low-income children who reside in three urban school districts selected by DPI and
three rural school districts selected by DPI. Under the bill, the service provider must
administer the online early learning program during the 2020-21, 2021-22, and
2022-23 school years.
Under the bill, a service provider is a nonprofit organization that has
successfully conducted an online early learning program in the past and can
demonstrate its past success using independent evaluations. To qualify as an online
early learning program, a program must satisfy the following criteria:
1. The program provides computer-based instruction to children on a home
computer and includes content in reading, math, and science.
2. The program is designed to improve a child's transition to five-year-old
kindergarten and aligned with nationally recognized early learning standards.
3. The program requires parental engagement and involvement that includes
interaction with a learning coach.
4. The program evaluates a child's growth over the course of the program.
5. The program provides a participating low-income family with access to a
computer and Internet service in the family's home at no cost.
Under the bill, during the term of the contract, the service provider must
provide an annual report to DPI that includes specific information about who is
participating in the program, the number of families requesting and being provided
access to a computer or the Internet at home, and how children participating in the
program performed on prekindergarten and kindergarten readiness assessments.
By October 15, 2023, DPI must compile the information it received for each year of
the contract and submit it to the legislature. Finally, the bill requires the service
provider selected to administer the online early learning program to provide
$500,000 in matching funds during the three-year term of the contract.
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:
20.005 (3) (schedule) of the statutes: at the appropriate place, insert 2
the following amounts for the purposes indicated:
- See PDF for table
20.255 (3) (df) of the statutes is created to read:
(df) Online early learning program; grant
. The amounts in the 5
schedule for contract payments under 2019 Wisconsin Act .... (this act), section 4 (1).
20.255 (3) (df) of the statutes is repealed.
Online early learning pilot program.
(a) In this subsection:
1. “Department” means the department of public instruction.
2. “Eligible child” means a child who satisfies the income eligibility criteria for 2
a free or reduced-price lunch under 42 USC 1758
(b) (1) and resides in a school 3
district selected by the department under par. (d
3. “Online early learning program” means a program that satisfies all of the 5
a. The program provides computer-based instruction to children on a home 7
computer connected by the Internet to a centralized file storage facility.
b. The program is designed to improve a child's transition to 5-year-old 9
c. The program contains content in reading, math, and science.
d. The program is aligned with nationally recognized early learning standards.
e. At no cost to low-income families participating in the program, the program 13
provides access to a computer or Internet service, or both, in the homes of low-income 14
families participating in the program that do not have a computer or Internet service 15
access in their home.
f. The program includes a parental engagement and involvement component 17
that includes interaction with a learning coach provided by the program.
g. The program includes an evaluation component that measures a child's 19
growth over the course of the program.
4. “Service provider” means a nonstock, nonprofit organization described under 21
(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code that has successfully conducted an 22
online early learning program. An organization must demonstrate past success to 23
the department using independent and reliable evaluations.
(b) The department shall award, using a competitive request-for-proposals 25
process, a contract to a service provider to administer an online early learning
program to eligible children. The contract shall require the service provider to 2
administer the online early learning program from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2023.
(c) 1. For each school year of the contract under par. (b
), the department shall 4
pay the amount appropriated under s. 20.255 (3) (df) to the service provider awarded 5
the contract under par. (b) for administering the online early learning program.
2. A service provider awarded a contract under par. (b) shall provide a total of 7
$500,000 in matching funds during the 3 years of the contract.
(d) The department shall select 3 urban school districts and 3 rural school 9
districts in which the service provider awarded a contract under par. (b) shall 10
administer the online early learning pilot program.
(e) The department shall require the service provider awarded a contract under 12
par. (b) to submit an annual report to the department that contains all of the 13
following information for each school district selected under par. (d):
1. The number of eligible children who applied to participate in the online early 15
2. The number of eligible children selected to participate in the online early 17
3. The number of low-income families that requested a computer or home 19
4. The number of low-income families that were provided a computer or home 21
5. The frequency with which children participating in the online early learning 23
program used the instructional software provided by the program.
6. How children participating in the online early learning program performed 25
on prekindergarten and kindergarten readiness assessments.
7. Parental feedback on the online early learning program.
(f) By October 15, 2023, the department shall compile and submit the 3
information it receives under par. (e
) to the joint committee on finance and to the 4
appropriate standing committees of the legislature in the manner provided under s. 5
This act takes effect on the day after publication, 7
except as follows: