117.01 117.01 Applicability. This chapter does not apply to any school district reorganization affecting a school district operating under ch. 119.
117.01 History History: 1989 a. 114.
117.03 117.03 Definitions. In this chapter:
117.03(1) (1)“Affected school district" means the entire territory of any of the following school districts:
117.03(1)(a) (a) A school district from which any territory is detached or proposed to be detached.
117.03(1)(b) (b) A school district to which any territory is attached or proposed to be attached.
117.03(1)(c) (c) A school district that is consolidated with one or more other school districts or proposed to be consolidated with one or more other school districts.
117.03(1)(d) (d) A school district that is dissolved or proposed to be dissolved.
117.03(2) (2)“Appeal panel" means a panel appointed by the state superintendent under s. 117.05 (1).
117.03(3) (3)“Board" means the school district boundary appeal board.
117.03(3g) (3g)“Boundary dispute" means a dispute between 2 or more school districts concerning whether certain territory is located within a particular school district.
117.03(3m) (3m)“Enrollment" means the number of pupils enrolled, as provided under s. 121.05 (1) (a), on the most recent of the preceding 3rd Friday of September or 2nd Friday of January.
117.03(4) (4)“Equalized valuation" has the meaning given under s. 121.004 (2).
117.03(4m) (4m)“Interested school district" means a school district involved in a boundary dispute.
117.03(5) (5)“Reorganization" means the consolidation of 2 or more school districts, the dissolution of a school district, the detachment of territory from one school district and its attachment to an adjoining school district or the creation of a school district.
117.03 History History: 1989 a. 114; 1995 a. 27; 1997 a. 27; 1999 a. 18.
117.05 117.05 General provisions.
117.05(1)(1)Appeal panels. The state superintendent shall appoint 3 members of the board to hear appeals filed under ss. 117.12 (4) and 117.13 (3). No 2 members of the appeal panel may be board members from any of the following kinds of school districts: those with small enrollments, those with medium enrollments or those with large enrollments.
117.05(1m) (1m)Board and appeal panel meetings. The state superintendent shall set the time and place for meetings of the board under ss. 117.10, 117.105 (2m) and (4m), 117.12 (5) and 117.132 and for meetings of appeal panels under ss. 117.12 (4) and 117.13.
117.05(2) (2)Selection of board members for each review; board and school board voting requirements.
117.05(2)(a) (a) Board. The state superintendent shall appoint 7 members of the board to perform any review under ss. 117.10, 117.105 (2m) and (4m), 117.12 (5), and 117.132. The 7 members shall include the state superintendent or his or her designee on the board, 2 board members from school districts with small enrollments, 2 board members from school districts with medium enrollments, and 2 board members from school districts with large enrollments. Any action of the board under this chapter requires the affirmative vote of at least 4 of the 7 members appointed under this paragraph.
117.05(2)(b) (b) School board. Any action by a school board under this chapter requires the affirmative vote of a majority of its full authorized membership.
117.05(3) (3)Joint meetings and hearings. The school boards of the affected school districts may hold joint meetings or joint public hearings in any reorganization proceeding under this chapter.
117.05(4) (4)Limitations on proceedings.
117.05(4)(a) (a) Pending proceedings. A reorganization proceeding is pending from the date that a petition is filed under s. 117.105 (1) (a), 117.11 (2) or 117.12 (2) or a resolution is adopted under s. 117.08 (1), 117.09 (1), 117.10 (1), 117.105 (1) (b) or (4m), 117.13 (2) or 117.132 (2) until the date on which the latest of any of the following occurs:
117.05(4)(a)1. 1. An order granting the reorganization takes effect.
117.05(4)(a)2. 2. The reorganization is denied and, following the denial, any time period for requesting a referendum, requesting review by the board or making an appeal to an appeal panel, under ss. 117.08 to 117.132, has expired.
117.05(4)(b) (b) Limitation if proceeding is pending; state aid apportionment. While a reorganization is pending, as provided under par. (a) or under s. 117.01 (1) (d), 1987 stats.:
117.05(4)(b)1. 1. Any other reorganization proceeding commenced or order made that includes any territory included in the pending reorganization proceeding is void.
117.05(4)(b)2. 2. State aid shall be apportioned to the affected school districts as if the reorganization had not been initiated.
117.05(4)(c) (c) One-year limitation on consideration of transfers.
117.05(4)(c)1. 1. Except as provided under subd. 2., no petition for the detachment of territory from one school district and its attachment to an adjoining school district may be filed under s. 117.11 (2) or 117.12 (2) before the 2nd July 1 following the filing of a petition under s. 117.11 (2) or 117.12 (2) for any reorganization that includes any of the same territory.
117.05(4)(c)2. 2. The limitation under subd. 1. does not apply if the school board of each affected school district adopts a resolution waiving the limitation. If a school board denies a request for a waiver under this subdivision, the denial may not be appealed under this chapter.
117.05(4)(d) (d) Four-year limitation on consideration of creation of a school district.
117.05(4)(d)1.1. Except as provided in subd. 2., no petition may be filed or resolution adopted for the creation of a new school district under s. 117.105 (1) (a) or (b) before the 5th July 1 following the filing of a petition under s. 117.105 (1) (a) or the adoption of a resolution under s. 117.105 (1) (b) or the date of an order issued under s. 117.105 (4m) (c) for any reorganization that includes any of the same territory.
117.05(4)(d)2. 2. The limitation under subd. 1. does not apply if the school board of each affected school district adopts a resolution waiving the limitation. If a school board denies a request for a waiver under this subdivision, the denial may not be appealed under this chapter.
117.05(5) (5)All territory in school district; contiguous union high school district territory.
117.05(5)(a) (a) Territory in district. All territory within this state shall be included in a school district operating elementary school grades and a school district operating high school grades or in a school district operating both elementary and high school grades, except for territory located in a school district that is not operating certain grades as a result of entering into a whole grade sharing agreement under s. 118.50. No territory may be detached from a school district unless by the same order it is attached to another school district or included in a new school district created by the order. No territory may be detached from a school district that operates high school grades unless by the same order it is attached to or included in another school district that operates high school grades.
117.05(5)(b) (b) Contiguous union high school district territory. No territory may be detached from a union high school district so as to make parts of the school district noncontiguous.
117.05(7) (7)Validation of school districts. No appeal or other action attacking the legality of the formation of a school district, either directly or indirectly, may be taken after the period provided under s. 893.74. This subsection shall be liberally construed to effect the legislative purpose to validate and make certain the legal existence of all school districts in this state, however created or reorganized, and to bar every right to question the existence of a school district in any manner and to bar every remedy relating to the formation of a school district notwithstanding any defects or irregularities, jurisdictional or otherwise, in any action or proceeding commenced after the expiration of the period provided under s. 893.74.
117.05(8) (8)Information on reorganization procedures. The department shall prepare a written description of the procedures for school district reorganizations under ss. 117.08 to 117.132 and distribute copies to school district clerks. A school district clerk shall give a copy of the description to any person, upon request, and to any person filing a petition with the clerk under s. 117.08 (3) (a) 2., 117.09 (3) (a) 2., 117.105 (1) (a), 117.11 (2) or (4) (a) 2. or 117.12 (2), at the time the petition is filed.
117.05(9) (9)Board and appeal panel fees.
117.05(9)(a) (a) The state superintendent may charge the following persons a fee sufficient to reimburse the department for the costs of the board under ss. 117.10, 117.105, 117.132 and 117.35:
117.05(9)(a)1. 1. The school boards of the affected school districts under s. 117.105 if they fail to reach agreement under s. 117.105 (1m) (b).
117.05(9)(a)1m. 1m. The village boards of villages and the affected school district under s. 117.105 (4m).
117.05(9)(a)2. 2. A person who files a petition requesting review by the board under s. 117.105 (2m).
117.05(9)(a)3. 3. A school board that adopts a resolution to dissolve the school district under s. 117.10 (2).
117.05(9)(a)4. 4. A school board that requests review by the board under s. 117.132 (4) (a) 1.
117.05(9)(a)5. 5. A person who files a petition requesting review by the board under s. 117.132 (4) (a) 2.
117.05(9)(a)6. 6. A school board requesting resolution of a boundary dispute under s. 117.35 (2).
117.05(9)(b) (b) The clerk of the school district ordering the dissolution or requesting review shall pay the fee under par. (a) 3. or 4. to the state superintendent. The clerk of each affected school district shall pay the fee under par. (a) 1. to the state superintendent. The state superintendent shall allocate the fee under par. (a) 1. among the school districts from which territory is being detached to create a new school district if there is more than one such school district. The secretary of the board shall forward the fees collected under par. (a) 1. and 5. to the state superintendent.
117.05(9)(c) (c) The state superintendent may charge a person filing a notice of appeal under s. 117.12 (4) or 117.13 (3) a fee sufficient to reimburse the department for the costs of the appeal panel under s. 117.12 (4) or 117.13 (3). The secretary of the board shall collect the fee and forward it to the state superintendent. The state superintendent may not charge any person who files a notice of appeal under s. 117.12 (4) and is charged the fee under this paragraph any additional fee for review by the board under s. 117.12 (5).
117.05(10) (10)State superintendent to advise. The state superintendent shall advise and consult with school boards regarding school district organization and reorganization. If, in the state superintendent's opinion, one or more school districts should be created, altered, consolidated or dissolved, he or she may make recommendations to the school boards of the affected school districts.
117.08 117.08 Consolidation of school districts.
117.08(1)(1)Initiation of procedures. The school boards of 2 or more school districts may adopt resolutions stating that they will consider consolidating their school districts. The school district clerk of each school board adopting a resolution under this subsection shall send a certified copy of the resolution to the school boards of each of the other affected school districts and to the secretary of the board.
117.08(2) (2)School board action. In the first July beginning after the adoption of resolutions by 2 or more school boards under sub. (1), the school boards of the affected school districts may order the school districts consolidated by the adoption, by each of those school boards, of a resolution ordering the consolidation. Failure of a school board to adopt a resolution either ordering or denying the consolidation before August 1 constitutes a denial of the consolidation by that school board. The school district clerk of each school board adopting a resolution under this subsection, either ordering or denying a consolidation, shall, within 5 days after the adoption of the resolution, send a certified copy of the resolution to the school boards of each of the other affected school districts and file a certified copy of the resolution as provided under s. 117.17 (2). If the school board of each affected school district adopts a resolution ordering the consolidation, the consolidation shall take effect on the following July 1, unless a referendum under sub. (3) is required.
117.08(3) (3)Referendum.
117.08(3)(a) (a) If the school board of each affected school district adopts a resolution ordering a consolidation under sub. (2), a referendum on the consolidation shall be held under par. (b) if one of the following occurs:
117.08(3)(a)1. 1. At the time of adopting the resolution under sub. (2), the school board of any affected school district directs the holding of a referendum.
117.08(3)(a)2. 2. Before the 2nd Tuesday of September following the adoption of the resolutions under sub. (2), a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40 requesting a referendum, signed by at least 10 percent of the electors who reside in any affected school district, is filed with the clerk of the school district that has the highest equalized valuation of the affected school districts. The validity of the petition shall be governed by the rules promulgated under s. 8.40 (3).
117.08(3)(b) (b) If a referendum is directed or a petition requesting a referendum is filed under par. (a), the school district clerk of the school board adopting the resolution or the school district clerk receiving the petition shall immediately notify the school boards of each of the other affected school districts, the secretary of the board and the clerk of each city, village or town, any part of which is contained within an affected school district. The referendum shall be held in the affected school districts as provided under s. 117.20. Votes shall be counted separately for each affected school district.
117.08(4) (4)Referendum results. If a majority of the votes cast in each affected school district is in favor of consolidation, the school districts shall be consolidated on the following July 1. At the time of canvassing the returns, the school boards of the affected school districts shall make and file an order of school district reorganization under s. 117.17 (2).
117.08(5) (5)Alternative timelines.
117.08(5)(a) (a) If each school board adopting a resolution under sub. (1) specifies in its resolution that the alternative timeline under this paragraph applies, the dates specified in subs. (2), (3) (a) 2., and (4) are changed as follows:
117.08(5)(a)1. 1. The resolutions ordering or denying a consolidation under sub. (2) shall be adopted in the first December beginning after the adoption of resolutions by 2 or more school boards under sub. (1). Failure of a school board to adopt a resolution either ordering or denying the consolidation before January 1 constitutes a denial of the consolidation by that school board.
117.08(5)(a)2. 2. The petition requesting a referendum under sub. (3) (a) 2. shall be filed before the 2nd Tuesday of February following the adoption of the resolutions under sub. (2).
117.08(5)(a)3. 3. If a majority of the votes cast in each affected school district is in favor of consolidation, the school districts shall be consolidated on the 2nd following July 1.
117.08(5)(b) (b) If each school board adopting a resolution under sub. (1) specifies in its resolution that the alternative timeline under this paragraph applies, the dates specified in subs. (2) and (3) (a) 2. are changed as follows:
117.08(5)(b)1. 1. The resolutions ordering or denying a consolidation under sub. (2) shall be adopted in the first May beginning after the adoption of resolutions by 2 or more school boards under sub. (1). Failure of a school board to adopt a resolution either ordering or denying the consolidation before June 1 constitutes a denial of the consolidation by that school board.
117.08(5)(b)2. 2. The petition requesting a referendum under sub. (3) (a) 2. shall be filed before the 2nd Tuesday of July following the adoption of resolutions under sub. (2).
117.08(6) (6)State aid. From the appropriation under s. 20.255 (2) (br), the department shall pay to a school district created by a consolidation under this section that takes effect on or after July 1, 2019, the following amounts:
117.08(6)(a) (a) In the school year in which the consolidation takes effect and in each of the subsequent 4 school years, $150 multiplied by the number of pupils enrolled, as defined in s. 115.437 (1), in the school district in that school year.
117.08(6)(b) (b) In the 5th school year following the school year in which the consolidation takes effect, 50 percent of the amount the school district received under par. (a) in the 4th year following the school year in which the consolidation takes effect.
117.08(6)(c) (c) In the 6th school year following the school year in which the consolidation takes effect, 25 percent of the amount the school district received under par. (a) in the 4th year following the school year in which the consolidation takes effect.
117.08 History History: 1989 a. 114, 192, 287; 1991 a. 32; 2009 a. 307; 2017 a. 59.
117.09 117.09 Consolidation of union high and elementary school districts.
117.09(1)(1)Initiation of procedures. The school board of a union high school district and the school boards of any of the school districts operating only elementary grades whose territory is included in the union high school district may adopt resolutions stating that they will consider consolidating the union high school district and all of the elementary school districts whose territory is included in the union high school district to create a common or unified school district operating both elementary and high school grades. The school district clerk of each school board adopting a resolution under this subsection shall send a certified copy of the resolution to the school boards of each of the other affected school districts and to the secretary of the board.
117.09(2) (2)School board action.
117.09(2)(a) (a) In the first July beginning after the adoption of resolutions under sub. (1), the school board of the union high school district and the school boards of one or more of the elementary school districts that adopted resolutions under sub. (1) and that have, in their combined territory, at least 55 percent of the equalized valuation of the union high school district, may order the union high school district and all of the elementary school districts whose territory is included in the union high school district consolidated to create a common or unified school district operating both elementary and high school grades by the adoption of a resolution ordering the consolidation by each school board.
117.09(2)(b) (b) Failure of a school board to adopt a resolution under par. (a) before August 1, either ordering or denying the consolidation, constitutes a denial of the consolidation by that school board. The school district clerk of each school board that adopts a resolution ordering or denying a consolidation under par. (a) shall, within 5 days after the adoption of the resolution, send a certified copy of the resolution to the school boards of the other affected school districts and file a certified copy of the resolution as provided under s. 117.17 (2). If a consolidation is ordered under par. (a), the consolidation shall take effect on the following July 1, unless a referendum is required under sub. (3).
117.09(3) (3)Referendum.
117.09(3)(a) (a) If a consolidation is ordered under sub. (2) (a), a referendum on the consolidation shall be held under par. (b) if one of the following occurs:
117.09(3)(a)1. 1. Before the 2nd Tuesday of September following the adoption of the resolution ordering consolidation under sub. (2) (a), the school board of any affected school district directs the holding of a referendum.
117.09(3)(a)2. 2. Before the 2nd Tuesday of September following the adoption of the resolutions under sub. (2) (a), a petition conforming to the requirements of s. 8.40 requesting a referendum, signed by at least 10 percent of the electors who reside in any affected school district, is filed with the clerk of the union high school district. The validity of the petition shall be governed by the rules promulgated under s. 8.40 (3).
117.09(3)(b) (b) If a referendum is directed or a petition requesting a referendum is filed under par. (a), the school district clerk of the school board adopting the resolution or the school district clerk receiving the petition shall immediately notify the school boards of each of the other affected school districts, the secretary of the board and the clerk of each city, village or town, any part of which is contained within an affected school district. The referendum shall be held in the union high school district as provided under s. 117.20. Votes shall be counted separately for the union high school district and each affected elementary school district.
117.09(4) (4)Referendum results. If a majority of the votes cast in the union high school district and in a majority of the affected elementary school districts is in favor of consolidation, the union high school district and all of the affected elementary school districts shall be consolidated on the following July 1. At the time of canvassing the returns, the school boards of the affected school districts shall make and file an order of school district reorganization under s. 117.17 (2).
117.09(5) (5)Elementary school district in more than one union high school district.
117.09(5)(a) (a) If a school district that operates only elementary grades has territory in more than one union high school district, it may consolidate under this section only with the union high school district in which more than 50 percent of its territory, as measured by equalized valuation, is located. Only the territory of the elementary school district that is located in that union high school district shall be included in the newly created common or unified school district operating both elementary and high school grades.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 20 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on November 11, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after November 11, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 11-11-19)