2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 115. State superintendent; general classifications and definitions; children with disabilities.
115.28 General duties.
115.28 General duties. The state superintendent shall:
(1) General supervision. Ascertain the condition of the public schools, stimulate interest in education and spread as widely as possible a knowledge of the means and methods which may be employed to improve the schools.
(2) Sectarianism. Exclude all sectarian books and instruction from the public schools.
(3) Supervision of schools. Supervise and inspect the public schools and day schools for children with disabilities, advise the principals and local authorities thereof and give assistance in organizing such schools.
(3m) Supervision of cooperative educational service agencies; rules.
(a) Supervise and audit the receipts and expenditures of the cooperative educational service agencies, conduct program review of the agencies, supervise boundary reorganization where necessary, advise the administrators of the agencies and provide assistance in organizing the agencies throughout the state.
(b) Promulgate rules establishing procedures for the reorganization of cooperative educational service agencies and boundary appeals.
(4) Public information. By reports, bulletins, circulars, correspondence and public addresses, give the public information upon the different methods of school organization and management and the subject of education generally.
(5) Appeals. Examine and determine all appeals which by law are made to the state superintendent and prescribe rules of practice in respect thereto, not inconsistent with law.
(6) Annual conventions. Annually, hold conventions of school district administrators, supervisors and agency coordinators.
(7) Licensing of teachers.
(a) License all teachers for the public schools of the state; make rules establishing standards of attainment and procedures for the examination and licensing of teachers within the limits prescribed in ss. 118.19 (2) and (3), 118.191, 118.1915, 118.192, 118.193, 118.194, 118.195, and 118.197; prescribe by rule standards, requirements, and procedures for the approval of teacher preparatory programs leading to licensure, including a requirement that, beginning on July 1, 2012, and annually thereafter, each teacher preparatory program located in this state shall submit to the department a list of individuals who have completed the program and who have been recommended by the program for licensure under this subsection, together with each individual's date of program completion, from each term or semester of the program's most recently completed academic year; file in the state superintendent's office all papers relating to state teachers' licenses; and register each such license.
(b) Subject to the same rules and laws concerning qualifications of applicants and granting and revocation of licenses or certificates under par. (a), the state superintendent shall grant certificates and licenses to teachers in private schools and tribal schools, except that teaching experience requirements for such certificates and licenses may be fulfilled by teaching experience in public, private, or tribal schools. An applicant is not eligible for a license or certificate unless the state superintendent finds that the private school or tribal school in which the applicant taught offered an adequate educational program during the period of the applicant's teaching therein. Private schools are not obligated to employ only licensed or certified teachers.
(c) Subject to s. 118.19 (4m), license and make rules for the examination and licensing of persons, including teachers, employed to provide publicly funded special education and related services, as those terms are defined in s. 115.76 (14) and (15).
(d) Annually, establish fees for the certification or licensure of school and public library personnel sufficient to fund certification and licensing administrative costs.
1. In this paragraph, “ alternative education program" means an instructional program, approved by the school board, that utilizes successful alternative or adaptive school structures and teaching techniques and that is incorporated into existing, traditional classrooms or regularly scheduled curricular programs or that is offered in place of regularly scheduled curricular programs. “Alternative educational program" does not include a private school, a tribal school, or a home-based private educational program.
2. Promulgate rules establishing requirements for licensure as an alternative education program teacher and for the approval of teacher education programs leading to licensure as an alternative education program teacher. The rules shall encompass the teaching of multiple subjects or grade levels or both, as determined by the state superintendent. The rules may require teacher education programs to grant credit towards licensure as an alternative education program teacher for relevant experience or demonstrated proficiency in relevant skills and knowledge.
(f) The department may not charge a fee for the issuance of a license, permit, or certificate to an individual who is eligible for the veterans fee waiver program under s. 45.44.
(g) Notwithstanding s. 118.19 (3), (4m), (6) to (9), and (12) to (14), grant a charter school teaching license to any person who has a bachelor's degree and demonstrates, based upon criteria established by the department, that the person is proficient in the subject or subjects that he or she intends to teach. The license authorizes the person to teach that subject or those subjects in a charter school.
(gm) Notwithstanding s. 118.19 (8), (9), and (11), grant an initial charter school principal license to any person who is licensed, or otherwise credentialed, to be a school principal in another state if the person holds the license or other credential in good standing, has completed at least 3 years of full-time classroom teaching, and is eligible for licensure under s. 118.19 (4) and (10). The license authorizes the person to be a principal of a charter school.
(h) Promulgate a rule requiring an applicant for a license to provide his or her home address.
(7g) Evaluation of teacher preparatory programs.
(a) The department shall, in consultation with the governor's office, the chairpersons of the committees in the assembly and senate whose subject matter is elementary and secondary education and ranking members of those committees, the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, do all of the following:
1. Determine how the performance of individuals who have recently completed a teacher preparatory program described in s. 115.28 (7) (a) and located in this state or a teacher education program described in s. 115.28 (7) (e) 2. and located in this state will be used to evaluate the teacher preparatory and education programs. The determination under this subdivision shall, at minimum, define “recently completed" and identify measures to assess an individual's performance, including the performance assessment made prior to making a recommendation for licensure.
2. Determine how the measures of performance of individuals who have recently completed a teacher preparatory or education program identified as required under subd. 1. will be made accessible to the public.
3. Develop a system to publicly report the measures of performance identified as required under subd. 1. for each teacher preparatory and education program identified in subd. 1.
(b) Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, the department shall use the system developed under par. (a) 3. to annually report for each program identified in par. (a) 1. the passage rate on first attempt of students and graduates of the program on examinations administered for licensure under s. 115.28 (7) and any other information required to be reported under par. (a) 1.
(c) Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, each teacher preparatory and education program shall prominently display and annually update the passage rate on first attempt of recent graduates of the program on examinations administered for licensure under s. 115.28 (7) and any other information required to be reported under par. (a) 1. on the program's Web site and provide this information to persons receiving admissions materials to the program.
(7m) Certification of school nurses. Certify school nurses, make rules for the examination and certification of school nurses and file in the state superintendent's office all papers relating to school nurses certification and register each such certification.
(9) Federal aids. Accept federal funds for any function over which the state superintendent has jurisdiction and act as the agent for the receipt and disbursement of such funds.
(9m) Waiver of pupil assessment requirements.
(a) Request a waiver from the federal department of education that would permit the state superintendent to approve between 3 and 5 examinations, selected by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Value-Added Research Center under s. 118.301 (2), for administration to pupils as provided under s. 118.301 (3).
(b) Upon receipt of the waiver under par. (a), submit the waiver, together with a request to supplement the appropriation under s. 20.255 (1) (fm) with the funds that are held in the appropriation under s. 20.865 (4) (a) for the purposes described under s. 118.301, to the joint committee on finance for consideration by the committee at its next quarterly meeting under s. 13.10. Upon approval of the state superintendent's request under this paragraph, the joint committee on finance shall release the funds.
(10) Educational assessment. Develop an educational assessment program to measure objectively the adequacy and efficiency of educational programs offered by public schools in this state. The program shall include methods by which pupil achievement in reading, mathematics, writing, science, social science and other areas of instruction commonly offered by public schools will be objectively measured each year. Assessment shall be undertaken at several grade levels on a uniform, statewide basis.
(10m) Report to the superintendent of schools of a 1st class city school district and to the commissioner of the opportunity schools and partnership programs.
(a) By October 15, 2015, and annually thereafter, submit to the commissioner of the opportunity schools and partnership program under subch. II of ch. 119 and to the superintendent of schools of the school district operating under ch. 119 a report that identifies the schools in Milwaukee County and located in a school district that was placed in the lowest performance category on the most recent accountability report published for that school district under s. 115.385 (1) to which any of the following applies, and that disaggregates the schools by elementary school, middle school, junior high school, high school, and senior high school:
1. The school was assigned to the lowest performance category on the most recent accountability report published for the school under s. 115.385 (1).
2. The school building is vacant or an underutilized building, as defined in s. 119.61 (1) (c).
(b) By October 15 of the first year in which the state superintendent determines that a school district is an eligible school district, as defined in s. 115.999 (1) (d), and annually thereafter, submit to the commissioner of the opportunity schools and partnership program under subch. IX a report that identifies each school in that eligible school district that was assigned to the lowest performance category on the most recent accountability report published for the school under s. 115.385 (1) and that disaggregates the schools by elementary school, middle school, junior high school, high school, and senior high school.
(10o) Notice of eligible school district.
(a) Beginning in October of the 2015-16 school year, annually determine whether any school district qualifies as an eligible school district, as defined in s. 115.999 (1) (d).
(b) Notify the governor, the appropriate county executive, as defined in s. 115.999 (1) (b), and the appropriate mayor, as defined in s. 115.999 (1) (e), as soon as the state superintendent determines that a school district qualifies as an eligible school district, as defined in s. 115.999 (1) (d).
(c) Beginning in November of the 2017-18 school year, annually determine whether any unified school district qualifies as an eligible unified school district, as defined in s. 115.999 (2m) (a).
(d) By November 30, 2017, and each November 30 thereafter, notify the clerk of each village located in an eligible unified school district, as defined in s. 115.999 (2m) (a), and the school district administrator of the eligible unified school district, as defined in s. 115.999 (2m) (a), that the unified school district qualifies as an eligible unified school district, as defined in s. 115.999 (2m) (a).
(11) Driver education courses. Approve driver education courses offered by school districts, county children with disabilities education boards, and technical college districts for the purposes of s. 343.16 (1) (c) 1. and establish minimum standards for driver education courses offered in private schools and tribal schools for the purposes of s. 343.16 (1) (c) 3. All driver education courses approved or for which standards are established under this subsection shall do all of the following:
(a) Acquaint each student with the hazards posed by farm machinery and animals on highways and provide instruction in safely dealing with such hazards.
(b) Provide at least 30 minutes of instruction relating to organ and tissue donation and organ and tissue donation procedures.
(c) Provide at least 30 minutes of instruction on motorcycle awareness, as approved by a recognized motorcycle safety and awareness organization, and pedestrian and bicycle awareness, as approved by a recognized pedestrian and bicycle safety and awareness organization.
(d) Include instruction relating to passing stopped emergency vehicles, tow trucks, and highway machinery equipment.
(e) Acquaint each student with the hazards posed by railroad highway grade crossings and provide at least 30 minutes of instruction in safely dealing with these hazards.
(f) Acquaint each student with the hazards posed by composing or sending electronic text messages or electronic mail messages while driving and with the provisions of s. 346.89 (3) .
(g) Acquaint each student with the hazards posed by motor vehicles to vulnerable highway users, as defined in s. 340.01 (74p), and provide at least 30 minutes of instruction in safely dealing with these hazards.
(13) Uniform financial fund accounting. Prescribe a uniform financial fund accounting system, applicable to all school districts and county children with disabilities education boards, which provides for the recording of all financial transactions inherent in the management of schools and county children with disabilities education board programs and the administration of the state's school aid programs.
(14) Minority group pupil census. Establish procedures under which school districts report annually the number of minority group pupils, as defined in s. 121.845 (2), residing in the school district and attending public schools in the district so as to be able to classify school districts under s. 121.85 (2).
(15) Bilingual-bicultural education.
(a) Establish, by rule, standards for the approval of the abilities of certified teachers and counselors and their aides participating in bilingual-bicultural education programs under subch. VII to read, write and speak a non-English language and to possess knowledge of the culture of limited-English proficient pupils.
(b) Establish, by rule, minimum standards for bilingual-bicultural education programs under subch. VII.
(17) American Indian language and culture education.
(a) Establish by rule standards for certifying the abilities of teachers participating in American Indian language and culture education programs under subch. IV to read and write or speak an American Indian language and to possess knowledge of American Indian history and culture.
(b) Establish by rule standards for certifying the abilities of home school coordinators, counselors and aides participating in American Indian language and culture education programs under subch. IV to possess knowledge of American Indian history and culture.
(c) Promulgate rules which further define “American Indian" under s. 115.71 (2) (d).
(d) Develop a curriculum for grades 4 to 12 on the Chippewa Indians' treaty-based, off-reservation rights to hunt, fish and gather.
(18) Pupil membership audits. Annually require at least 25 percent of school boards to audit the number of pupils reported for membership purposes under s. 120.14 (1).
(19) Federal discretionary funds. Ensure that federal aid received under 20 USC 1411 (c) (1) (A) is not used to supplant or replace funding available from other sources.
(20) Council for Milwaukee public schools grant programs. Appoint a council under s. 15.04 (1) (c) composed of residents of the school district established under ch. 119 who are selected to reflect the pluralistic nature of the school district. The council shall:
(a) Advise the state superintendent on funding criteria and evaluation plans for grant programs for the school district operating under ch. 119.
(b) Advise the state superintendent on the programs that meet or do not meet the funding criteria.
(c) Assist the state superintendent in monitoring the progress of funded programs.
(d) Recommend to the state superintendent needed changes in statutes or rules relating to grant programs.
(e) Submit to the state superintendent an annual report detailing the council's activities, accomplishments and projected needs.
(f) Assist in ensuring that various grant programs operate compatibly.
(22) Information for tax bills. By November 1, provide to the department of revenue the information about school aids distributed to each school district that will enable that department to furnish to taxation districts the information required under s. 73.03 (31).
(23) Wisconsin educational opportunity programs. Administer Wisconsin educational opportunity programs on a statewide basis to assist minority and economically disadvantaged youth and adults in pursuing higher education opportunities. The statewide programs shall consist of all of the following:
(a) A talent search program which shall provide information to youths and adults about postsecondary education and counseling to aid pupils in defining educational goals, applying and enrolling in postsecondary institutions and obtaining financial aid.
(b) A talent incentive program which shall provide supplemental aid to financially needy pupils to promote attendance at postsecondary institutions.
(c) An early identification program which shall provide services to pupils under s. 115.44.
(d) The precollege scholarship program under s. 115.43.
(24) Priority in awarding grants. Give priority in awarding grants to school boards under s. 115.36, and in awarding grants from federal funds received under 20 USC 2301 to 2471, 20 USC 4601 to 4665 and 29 USC 2862 (b) (1) (B), to programs that provide more than one of the educational services specified under s. 115.36, 115.915, 118.01 (2) (d) 7. or 8. or 118.153 or 20 USC 2301 to 2471, 20 USC 4601 to 4665 or 29 USC 2862 (b) (1) (B).
(25) School technology resource grants. Consult with the department of administration before awarding school technology resource grants under 20 USC 6842.
(26) Periodical and reference information databases. Contract with one or more persons to provide statewide access, through the Internet, to periodical and reference information databases.
(27) WISElearn. Develop and maintain an online resource, called WISElearn, to provide educational resources for parents, teachers, and pupils; offer online learning opportunities; provide regional technical support centers; provide professional development for teachers; and enable video conferencing.
(30) Career and technical student organizations.
(a) Give priority to assisting school boards to operate career and technical student organizations and related career and technical education programs.
(b) Provide in the department administrative leadership for career and technical student organizations and the following career and technical student organization educational consultants:
1. One full-time consultant in agriculture education.
2. One full-time consultant in business education.
3. One full-time consultant in technology education.
4. One full-time consultant in family and consumer sciences education.
5. One full-time consultant in marketing education.
6. One half-time consultant in health science education.
(d) Provide in the department a career and technical education and career and technical student organizations team consisting of those educational consultants specified in par. (b).
(31) Accommodation of religious beliefs. Promulgate rules providing for the reasonable accommodation of a pupil's sincerely held religious beliefs with regard to all examinations and other academic requirements.
(36) Report on goals. Report to the governor and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3) the progress made by school districts toward attaining state educational goals and the state vision for education.
(39) Alcohol and other drug abuse report. Biennially by July 1, evaluate the effectiveness of the programs under s. 115.36 and submit a report to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2).
(40) Milwaukee public museum. Annually distribute the amount appropriated under s. 20.255 (3) (eg) to the Milwaukee Public Museum to develop curricula and exhibits relating to African American history if the Milwaukee Public Museum provides an equal amount of money for that purpose.
(41) Elks and Easter Seals Center for Respite and Recreation. Annually distribute the amount appropriated under s. 20.255 (3) (d) to the Elks and Easter Seals Center for Respite and Recreation.
(42) Wisconsin geographic education program. Enter into an agreement with the National Geographic Society Education Foundation to establish a geographical education program in this state. The agreement shall require each of the following:
(a) That the National Geographic Society Education Foundation shall establish and manage a trust fund consisting of any grant made under 2001 Wisconsin Act 16, section 9101 (10) (b), and $500,000 in matching funds provided by the Foundation.
(b) That, from the trust fund established under par. (a) and any income thereon, the National Geographic Society Education Foundation shall award grants and support programs for improving geographical education in this state, with an emphasis on improving student use of geographic information systems technology.
(c) That the National Geographic Society Education Foundation annually submit to the department an audited financial statement of the trust fund established under par. (a) that is prepared by an independent auditor and a report listing the names of grant recipients and the amounts and purposes of awards and other expenditures made from the trust fund.
(d) That, if the trust fund established under par. (a) is dissolved, the National Geographic Society Education Foundation shall return to the department the grant made under 2001 Wisconsin Act 16, section 9101 (10) (b), and unexpended income thereon.
(e) That the agreement is not effective unless the secretary of administration determines that the transfer between the appropriation accounts described under 2001 Wisconsin Act 16, section 9101 (10) (b), has occurred and that the National Geographic Society Education Foundation has provided the matching funds described in par. (a).
(43) School safety funding. With the department of justice, seek and apply for federal funds relating to school safety and reducing violence and disruption in schools, including funds for alternative schools or programs. Each department shall make a report by January 1, 2001, and January 1, 2003, of its progress in applying for and obtaining funds under this subsection. The report shall be provided to the legislature in the manner provided under s. 13.172 (2) to the cochairpersons of the joint committee on finance and to the governor.
(45) Grants for bullying prevention. From the appropriation under s. 20.255 (3) (eb), award grants to a nonprofit organization, as defined in s. 108.02 (19), to provide training and an online bullying prevention curriculum for pupils in grades kindergarten to 8.
(48) Veterans. Encourage school boards to invite armed forces veterans to school to discuss their experiences as veterans.
(49) Charter school report. Annually report to the legislature, in the manner provided under s. 13.172 (2), on the status of existing charter schools, the number of petitions for new charter schools, and school board and departmental action on petitions for new charter schools.
(50) Transition services. In cooperation with the department of workforce development and the department of health services, establish a clearinghouse for information about the special education transition services and vocational opportunities available in each county. Each of the 3 departments shall post information about the clearinghouse on its Internet site.
(51) Funeral assistants. Encourage school boards to grant an excused absence to a pupil in grades 6 to 12 for the purpose of sounding “Taps" during a military honors funeral for a deceased veteran.
(52) Adult literacy grants. From the appropriation under s. 20.255 (3) (b), award grants to nonprofit organizations, as defined in s. 108.02 (19), to support programs that train community-based adult literacy staff and to establish new volunteer-based programs in areas of this state that have a demonstrated need for adult literacy services. No organization may receive more than one grant in any fiscal year.
(53) Online courses. Make online courses available for a reasonable fee, through a statewide web academy, to school districts, cooperative educational service agencies, and charter schools, private schools, and tribal schools located in this state.
(54) Collaborative content delivery and online instruction. Promote the delivery of digital content and collaborative instruction among schools within a school district and between 2 or more school districts, including through online courses. To accomplish the objectives of this subsection, the department may not promulgate a rule that requires a licensed teacher or instructional staff person, defined as required under s. 121.02 (1) (a) 2., to be physically present in a classroom in which the delivery of content or collaborative instruction is being provided in that classroom digitally or through an online course.
(54m) Notice of educational options. Include on the home page of the department's Internet site a link to information about all of the educational options available to children in the state who are at least 3 years old but not yet 18 years old, including public schools, private schools participating in a parental choice program, charter schools, virtual schools, full-time or part-time open enrollment in a nonresident school district, the early college credit program, and options for pupils enrolled in a home-based private educational program.
NOTE: Sub. (54m) is shown as amended eff. 7-1-18 by 2017 Wis. Act 59. Prior to 7-1-18 it reads:
(55) Social studies standards. Incorporate the history of organized labor and the collective bargaining process into the model academic standards for social studies.
(58) Assessment for interstate compact on educational opportunity for military children. Annually determine the amount of the assessment under s. 115.997 (14) (b). The amount shall be the lesser of $1,000 or the amount calculated by multiplying $1 by the number of children of military families, as defined in s. 115.997 (2) (b), who are enrolled in public schools in this state.
(59) Academic and career planning.
(a) Ensure that, beginning in the 2017-18 school year, every school board is providing academic and career planning services to pupils enrolled in grades 6 to 12 in the school district.
(b) Procure, install, and maintain information technology, including computer software, to be used statewide by school districts to provide academic and career planning services to pupils in grades 6 to 12.
(c) Provide guidance, training, and technical assistance to school districts and school district staff, including teachers and counselors, on how to implement model academic and career plans, including training and technical assistance that is necessary to implement the information technology under par. (b).
(d) Promulgate rules to implement this subsection.
(61) Whole grade sharing feasibility studies. Approve organizations to conduct feasibility studies under s. 118.50 (2) (c).
(62) Microsoft IT Academy coordinator. Designate one individual to serve as the coordinator of the Microsoft IT Academy program.
(63) Mental health training program. Establish a mental health training support program under which the department provides training on all of the following evidence-based strategies related to addressing mental health issues in schools to school district staff and instructional staff of charter schools under s. 118.40 (2r) or (2x):
(a) The screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment program.
(b) Trauma sensitive schools.
(c) Youth mental health first aid.
(64) College Possible. Annually, from the appropriation under s. 20.255 (3) (fc), award a grant to College Possible, Inc., to work with pupils and college students in Milwaukee. The grant amount shall be determined on a matching basis, under which College Possible, Inc., provides matching funds in an amount equal to 20 percent of the grant amount.
(65) Wisconsin Reading Corps. In the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, distribute the amounts appropriated under s. 20.255 (3) (fr) to Wisconsin Reading Corps to provide one-on-one tutoring if Wisconsin Reading Corps provides matching funds of $250,000 in each school year.
NOTE: 1993 Wis. Act 339, which created sub. (7) (e), contains explanatory notes.
The department of public instruction may, if so authorized under s. 16.54, implement the school lunch program and special food service plan for children in secular and sectarian private schools and child-care institutions without violating the U.S. or Wisconsin constitutions. 63 Atty. Gen. 473.