“Teacher-pupil ratio" is the quotient of the number of pupils enrolled divided by the number of teachers employed.
“Teacher" means a person holding a license or certificate under s. 115.28 (7)
, but does not include any person under s. 115.29 (3)
. In computing the number of teachers employed, professional workers who devote less than full time to their professional duties shall be counted in proportion to the time devoted to such duties. Teachers who devote full time to children with disabilities shall not be counted.
History: 1977 c. 29
; 1977 c. 418
; 1979 c. 34
; 1979 c. 346
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 27
; 1985 a. 29
; 1987 a. 27
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 16
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 9
; 1999 a. 150
; 2001 a. 16
; 2007 a. 226
; 2009 a. 28
; 2013 a. 20
; 2017 a. 59
State aid withheld. 121.006(1)(a)
The state superintendent may withhold state aid from any school district in which the scope and character of the work are not maintained in such manner as to meet the state superintendent's approval.
No state aid may be paid in any year under this chapter to a school district which fails to meet the requirements under sub. (2)
If the state superintendent withholds state aid from a school district under this subsection, the school board may request a hearing under s. 227.42
Unless the state superintendent is satisfied that the failure to meet the requirements of pars. (a)
was occasioned by some extraordinary cause not arising from intention or neglect on the part of the responsible officers, every school district shall:
Hold school for the minimum number of hours of direct pupil instruction required for the grade in which a pupil is enrolled as specified in s. 121.02 (1) (f)
In the event of a school district labor dispute, s. 121.23
Use of state aid; exemption from execution.
All moneys paid to a school district under s. 20.255 (2) (ac)
, and (cr)
, shall be used by the school district solely for the purposes for which paid. Such moneys are exempt from execution, attachment, garnishment, or other process in favor of creditors, except as to claims for salaries or wages of teachers and other school employees and as to claims for school materials, supplies, fuel, and current repairs.
It is declared to be the policy of this state that education is a state function and that some relief should be afforded from the local general property tax as a source of public school revenue where such tax is excessive, and that other sources of revenue should contribute a larger percentage of the total funds needed. It is further declared that in order to provide reasonable equality of educational opportunity for all the children of this state, the state must guarantee that a basic educational opportunity be available to each pupil, but that the state should be obligated to contribute to the educational program only if the school district provides a program which meets state standards. It is the purpose of the state aid formula set forth in this subchapter to cause the state to assume a greater proportion of the costs of public education and to relieve the general property of some of its tax burden.
The school finance system under ch. 121 is constitutional under both Art. I, sec. 1 and Art. X, s. 3. Students have a fundamental right to an equal opportunity for a sound basic education. Uniform revenue-raising capacity among districts is not required. Vincent v. Voight, 2000 WI 93
, 236 Wis. 2d 588
, 614 N.W.2d 388
A “uniform" education: reform of local property tax school finance systems through state constitutions. 62 MLR 565.
School district standards. 121.02(1)(a)1.1.
Ensure that every teacher, supervisor, administrator and professional staff member holds a certificate, license or permit to teach issued by the department before entering on duties for such position.
Subject to s. 118.40 (8) (b) 1.
, and 3.
, ensure that all instructional staff of charter schools located in the school district hold a license or permit to teach issued by the department. For purposes of this subdivision, a virtual charter school is located in the school district specified in s. 118.40 (8) (a)
and a charter school established under s. 118.40 (3) (c) 1. c.
is located in the school district specified in s. 118.40 (3) (c) 1. c.
The state superintendent shall promulgate rules defining “instructional staff" for purposes of this subdivision.
Ensure that an individual who provides instruction in a subject and level through an online course offered from another state to pupils enrolled in a school in the school district holds a valid license or permit to teach the subject and level in the state from which the online course is provided.
Annually, establish with school board employees a professional staff development plan designed to meet the needs of individuals or curriculum areas in each school.
Provide interventions or remedial reading services for a pupil in grades kindergarten to 4 if any of the following occurs:
The pupil fails to meet the reading objectives specified in the reading curriculum plan maintained by the school board under par. (k)
The pupil fails to score above the state minimum performance standard on the reading test under par. (r)
A teacher in the school district and the pupil's parent or guardian agree that the pupil's test performance accurately reflects the pupil's reading ability; or
A teacher in the school district determines, based on other objective evidence of the pupil's reading comprehension, that the pupil's test performance accurately reflects the pupil's reading ability.
The pupil's reading assessment under s. 118.016
indicates that the pupil is at risk of reading difficulty. If this subdivision applies, the interventions or services provided the pupil shall be scientifically based and shall address all areas in which the pupil is deficient in a manner consistent with the state standards in reading and language arts.
Operate a 5-year-old kindergarten program, except in union high school districts.
Annually, schedule at least 437 hours of direct pupil instruction in kindergarten, at least 1,050 hours of direct pupil instruction in grades 1 to 6 and at least 1,137 hours of direct pupil instruction in grades 7 to 12. Scheduled hours under this paragraph include recess and time for pupils to transfer between classes but do not include the lunch period. Scheduled hours under this paragraph do not include hours of direct pupil instruction offered during an interim session. Scheduled hours under this paragraph may include hours on Saturdays. A school board operating a 4-year-old kindergarten program may use up to 87.5 of the scheduled hours for outreach activities.
Provide adequate instructional materials, texts and library services which reflect the cultural diversity and pluralistic nature of American society.
Provide safe and healthful facilities. The facilities shall comply with ss. 254.11
and any rule promulgated under those sections.
Ensure that instruction in elementary and high schools in health, physical education, art and music is provided by qualified teachers.
Maintain a written, sequential curriculum plan in at least 3 of the following subject areas: reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, health, computer literacy, environmental education, vocational education, physical education, art and music. The plan shall specify objectives, course content and resources and shall include a program evaluation method.
Maintain a written, sequential curriculum plan in at least 3 additional subject areas specified in subd. 1.
Maintain a written, sequential curriculum plan in all of the remaining subject areas specified in subd. 1.
In the elementary grades, provide regular instruction in reading, language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, physical education, art and music.
In grades 5 to 8, provide regular instruction in language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, physical education, art and music. The school board shall also provide pupils with an introduction to career exploration and planning.
In grades 9 to 12, provide access to an educational program that enables pupils each year to study English, social studies, mathematics, science, vocational education, foreign language, physical education, art and music. In this subdivision, “access" means an opportunity to study through school district course offerings, independent study, cooperative educational service agencies, or cooperative arrangements between school boards or between school boards and postsecondary educational institutions.
Beginning September 1, 1991, as part of the social studies curriculum, include instruction in the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of the federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands located in this state at least twice in the elementary grades and at least once in the high school grades.
Provide regular instruction in foreign language in grades 7 and 8 beginning in the 1996-97 school year.
In one of grades 5 to 8 and in one of grades 10 to 12, provide pupils with the instruction on shaken baby syndrome and impacted babies described in s. 253.15 (5)
Adopt academic standards for financial literacy and incorporate instruction in financial literacy into the curriculum in grades kindergarten to 12.
In this subdivision, “
Holocaust” means the systematic state-sponsored killing of 6 million Jewish men, women, and children and millions of others by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945.
By July 1, 2022, as a part of the social studies curriculum, include instruction on the Holocaust and other genocides at least once in grades 5 to 8 and at least once in grades 9 to 12.
Provide access to an education for employment program approved by the state superintendent. Beginning in the 1997-98 school year, the program shall incorporate applied curricula; guidance and counseling services under par. (e)
; technical preparation under s. 118.34
; college preparation; youth apprenticeship under s. 106.13
or other job training and work experience; and instruction in skills relating to employment. The state superintendent shall assist school boards in complying with this paragraph.
See also ch. PI 26
, Wis. adm. code.
Evaluate, in writing, the performance of all certified school personnel at the end of their first year and at least every 3rd year thereafter.
Except as provided in s. 118.40 (2r) (d) 2.
, annually administer a standardized reading test developed by the department to all pupils enrolled in the school district in grade 3, including pupils enrolled in charter schools located in the school district, except that if a charter school is established under s. 118.40 (3) (c) 1. c.
, the school board specified in s. 118.40 (3) (c) 1. c.
shall administer the test to pupils enrolled in the charter school regardless of the location of the charter school.
Provide access to an appropriate program for pupils identified as gifted or talented.
A school district may provide for scoring the test administered under sub. (1) (r)
or have it scored by the department. If the school district provides for scoring the test, the department shall reimburse the school district for the cost of scoring the test, not exceeding what the department's cost would be to score the test. Costs of scoring the tests and reimbursing school districts for scoring the tests shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.255 (1) (a)
In order to ensure compliance with the standards under sub. (1)
, the department shall conduct an inquiry into compliance with the standards upon receipt of a complaint and may, on its own initiative, conduct an audit of a school district.
Prior to any finding that a school district is not in compliance with the standards under sub. (1)
, the state superintendent shall, upon request of the school board or upon receipt of a petition signed by the maximum number of electors allowed for nomination papers of school district officers under s. 8.10 (3) (i)
, conduct a public hearing in the school district. If the state superintendent, after the hearing, finds that the district is not in compliance with the standards, the state superintendent may develop with the school board a plan which describes methods of achieving compliance. The plan shall specify the time within which compliance shall be achieved. The state superintendent shall withhold up to 25 percent of state aid from any school district that fails to achieve compliance within the specified period.
Any school district which is completely surrounded by water may meet the requirements of this section by being in substantial compliance with the standards in sub. (1)
. Annually by August 15, the school district shall submit to the state superintendent for approval a report describing the methods by which the school district intends to substantially comply with the standards. The state superintendent shall allow any such school district maximum flexibility in the school district's substantial compliance plans.
The state superintendent shall promulgate rules to implement and administer this section, including rules defining “regular instruction" for the purpose of sub. (1) (L) 1.
History: 1973 c. 90
; 1975 c. 39
; 1977 c. 29
; 1979 c. 34
; 1985 a. 29
; 1987 a. 27
; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 48
; 1993 a. 16
; 1995 a. 27
, 9145 (1)
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 9
; 2001 a. 16
; 2005 a. 165
; 2007 a. 222
; 2009 a. 28
; 2011 a. 166
; 2013 a. 20
; 2015 a. 55
; 2017 a. 59
; 2021 a. 30
See also ch. PI 8
, Wis. adm. code.
Budget and membership report. 121.05(1)(1)
The school district clerk shall include, as part of the annual school district report under s. 120.18
, all of the following:
The average of the number of pupils enrolled on the 3rd Friday of September and the 2nd Friday of January of the previous school year, including all of the following:
Pupils enrolled concurrently in the school district and in a special education program operated by a county children with disabilities education board and in facilities of the school district. This subdivision does not apply beginning on the effective date of a resolution adopted under s. 115.817 (9) (c)
Pupils enrolled in home instruction or any other school district special education program.
Pupils enrolled in a special education program operated by a county children with disabilities education board under contract with the school board. This subdivision applies beginning on the effective date of a resolution adopted under s. 115.817 (9) (c)
Pupils enrolled in the school operated by the Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing or the school operated by the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired under subch. III of ch. 115
for whom the school district is paying tuition under s. 115.53 (2)
determined by multiplying the total number of periods in each day in which the pupils are enrolled in the local public school by the total number of days for which the pupils are enrolled in the local public school and dividing the product by 1,080.
Pupils attending a private school or agency under contract with the board under s. 119.235