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CHAPTER 116
COOPERATIVE EDUCATIONAL SERVICE AGENCIES
116.01   Purpose.
116.015   Legal status.
116.02   Board of control; membership.
116.03   Board of control; duties.
116.032   Contracts for services.
116.035   Designation of records custodian.
116.04   Agency administrator.
116.045   Agency personnel.
116.05   Advisory committees.
116.055   Real property.
116.06   Revision of agency boundaries.
116.065   Withdrawal from agency.
116.07   Consolidation of agencies.
116.08   State and local aid.
116.09   State and federal grants.
116.10   Lease of equipment.
Ch. 116 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See definitions in s. 115.001.
116.01 116.01 Purpose. The organization of school districts in Wisconsin is such that the legislature recognizes the need for a service unit between the school district and the state superintendent. The cooperative educational service agencies are designed to serve educational needs in all areas of Wisconsin by serving as a link both between school districts and between school districts and the state. Cooperative educational service agencies may provide leadership, coordination, and education services to school districts, University of Wisconsin System institutions, and technical colleges. Cooperative educational service agencies may facilitate communication and cooperation among all public, private, and tribal schools, and all public and private agencies and organizations, that provide services to pupils.
116.015 116.015 Legal status. A cooperative educational service agency may in its name enter into contracts authorized by this chapter and may sue and be sued.
116.015 History History: 1977 c. 221; 1983 a. 27 s. 2200 (42).
116.015 Annotation A CESA is not a state agency, but is a governmental subdivision. Suits against it or its employees are subject to s. 893.80. Section 893.82 applies to employees of state agencies and does not affect actions against CESA or their employees. Miller v. Mauston School District, 222 Wis. 2d 540, 588 N.W.2d 305 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-1874.
116.02 116.02 Board of control; membership.
116.02(1) (1)
116.02(1)(a) (a) Each agency shall be governed by a board of control composed of members of school boards of school districts within the agency. Annually on or after the 4th Monday in April, the school board of each school district in the agency shall appoint one of its members as its representative for the purpose of determining the composition of the board of control. For the purpose of determining membership on the board of control, a school district operating elementary grades only and lying in more than one union high school district shall be considered part of the union high school district territory in which the major portion of its equalized valuation lies. The board of control shall hold an annual organizational meeting on or after the 2nd Monday in May. No annual organizational meeting may be held after the 2nd Monday in August.
116.02(1)(c) (c) The state superintendent shall cause to convene annually on the day that the board of control holds its annual organizational meeting under par. (a) a convention composed of the representative from each school board in the agency. There shall be no more than one representative from each union high school district. The convention may direct the board of control to determine a different date for the annual organizational meeting.
116.02(2) (2) The annual convention shall establish bylaws for governing the agency, including bylaws for all of the following:
116.02(2)(a) (a) Subject to sub. (1) (a), setting the date of the annual convention and establishing procedures for calling a special meeting.
116.02(2)(b) (b) Providing for regular meetings of the board of control.
116.02(2)(c) (c) Establishing an initial plan of representation for the agency and specifying how the plan may be amended.
116.02(2)(d) (d) Specifying the number of members on the board of control.
116.02(2)(e) (e) Specifying what constitutes a vacancy on the board of control and establishing procedures for filling a vacancy on the board of control.
116.02(2)(f) (f) Specifying the officers on the board of control, establishing procedures for choosing those officers, specifying their terms of office and their duties and establishing procedures for removing them from office.
116.02(2)(g) (g) Providing for the establishment of fiscal control, responsibility and accountability requirements.
116.02(2)(h) (h) Designating a public depository.
116.03 116.03 Board of control; duties. The board of control shall:
116.03(1) (1) Determine the policies of the agency.
116.03(2) (2) Receive state aid for the operation of the agency.
116.03(4) (4) Determine each participating local unit's prorated share of the cost of cooperative programs and assess the costs of each program against each unit participating in the program including, without limitation because of enumeration, unemployment insurance, litigation expense, collective bargaining and monetary awards by courts and agencies, but no board of control may levy any taxes. No cost may be assessed against a unit for a cooperative program unless the unit enters into a contract for the service.
116.03(9) (9) Require a bond of the agency administrator and such other employees as determined by the board of control. The agency administrator, within 15 days following the beginning of contractual duties, shall file a bond executed by 2 qualified sureties approved by the board of control or may file a surety company bond in an amount determined by the board of control, but at least equal to 5% of the current administrative budget of the agency. If the board of control so determines, the agency treasurer shall file personal or surety bonds in such amounts as the board of control requires. The agency may purchase surety company bonds with agency funds.
116.03(10) (10) Authorize the expenditure of money for the purposes set forth in this chapter and for the actual and necessary expenses of the board of control and agency administrator and for the acquisition of equipment, space and personnel. All accounts of the agency shall be paid by check, share draft or other draft signed by the chairperson and secretary to the board of control.
116.03(11) (11) Establish the salaries of the agency administrator and other professional and nonprofessional employees. State reimbursement for the cost of the salary of the agency administrator shall be equal to the actual salary paid or the maximum of the salary range for public instruction supervisors under the state superintendent, whichever is less.
116.03(12) (12) Annually, make an inventory of agency property and file copies of it in the agency office.
116.03(12m) (12m) Every 3rd year as scheduled by the state superintendent, provide to the school board of each school district in the agency an accountability plan that addresses both the efficiency and effectiveness of all agency programs and services.
116.03(13m) (13m) If the county board of supervisors establishes an initiative to provide coordinated services under s. 59.53 (7), participate in the initiative and may enter into written interagency agreements or contracts under the initiative.
116.03(13s) (13s) Upon request of 2 or more school districts served by the board of control, apply for a state trust fund loan under s. 24.66 on behalf of the school districts to carry out a distance education project. The board of control shall expend the proceeds or transfer the proceeds to each school district in the amounts determined under s. 24.61 (7) as directed by each school district and shall accept from each school district repayments of principal and payments of interest and promptly remit such payments to the board of commissioners of public lands.
116.03(14) (14) Do all other things necessary to carry out this chapter.
116.03 Annotation A CESA is governed by s. 118.22 in its renewal of teaching contracts. Rawhouser v. CESA No. 4, 75 Wis. 2d 52, 248 N.W.2d 442.
116.03 Annotation Nothing in ch. 116 prevents a CESA from entering into a financial assistance agreement with the federal government or from directly accepting federal funding. Head Start Family Education Program, Inc. v. CESA No. 11, 46 F.3d 629 (1995).
116.032 116.032 Contracts for services.
116.032(1) (1) Subject to subs. (2) to (5), for the purpose of providing services to pupils, a board of control may contract with school districts, University of Wisconsin System institutions, technical college district boards, private schools, tribal schools, and agencies or organizations that provide services to pupils. A board of control may also contract with one or more school boards to operate a charter school under s. 118.40 (3) (c).
116.032(2) (2) A board of control may not contract with any person for the purpose of providing services to any entity specified under sub. (1) unless the entity specified under sub. (1) is authorized to contract directly with that person for those services.
116.032(3) (3)
116.032(3)(a)(a) A board of control may contract with a private school, tribal school, or private agency or organization to provide a service or program to that private school, tribal school, or private agency or organization only if all of the following apply:
116.032(3)(a)1. 1. The service or program was developed for and has been provided to public schools.
116.032(3)(a)2. 2. Providing the service or program will not have a negative effect on the agency's ability to serve school districts.
116.032(3)(b) (b) Any contract with an entity specified under sub. (1) other than a school district shall require payment for at least the full cost of the service or program provided.
116.032(5) (5) No contract may be for a term that is longer than 20 years.
116.032 History History: 1995 a. 27; 1997 a. 237, 238; 1999 a. 32; 2009 a. 302.
116.032 Annotation Guidelines for possibly avoiding constitutional objections to CESA service contracts with private schools are discussed. 62 Atty. Gen. 75.
116.035 116.035 Designation of records custodian. The board of control may, on behalf of any agency authority as defined in s. 19.32 (1), including the agency, the agency administrator and any subunit of the agency, designate one or more individuals to be legal custodians of records.
116.035 History History: 1981 c. 335.
116.04 116.04 Agency administrator. The board of control shall appoint an individual to serve as agency administrator. The agency administrator shall implement the policies of the board of control.
116.04 History History: 1977 c. 221; 1983 a. 27; 1993 a. 355; 1995 a. 27.
116.045 116.045 Agency personnel. The agency is the sole employer of the personnel it employs. A recipient of personnel services is not deemed an employer because of the exercise of supervision or control over any personnel services provided.
116.045 History History: 1977 c. 221.
116.05 116.05 Advisory committees. In each agency there shall be a professional advisory committee, composed of the school district administrator of each school district in the agency, which shall meet at the request of the board of control or the agency administrator to advise them. The board of control may appoint additional advisory committees that are representative of the users of the agency's services and programs.
116.05 History History: 1977 c. 221 s. 6; 1995 a. 27.
116.055 116.055 Real property. The board of control may purchase, hold, encumber and dispose of real property, in the name of the agency, for use as its office or for any educational service provided by the agency if a resolution to do so is adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members of the board of control and then approved by three-fourths of the school boards in the agency by majority vote of each school board. Aid received under s. 116.08 may be used for the acquisition and maintenance of real property under this section.
116.055 History History: 1983 a. 27.
116.055 Annotation School district members of a CESA who unsuccessfully oppose a real estate purchase by the CESA are obliged to pay their share of the costs of the purchase and may be sued by the CESA to enforce the obligation. 80 Atty. Gen. 296.
116.06 116.06 Revision of agency boundaries.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)