2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 115. State superintendent; general classifications and definitions; children with disabilities.
115.817 Children with disabilities education board.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 115.817 (2017)

115.817 Children with disabilities education board.

(1)Definitions. In this section “board" means the county children with disabilities education board.

(2)Establishment.

(a) A county board of supervisors may determine to establish a special education program, including the provision of related services for children with disabilities, for school districts in the county.

(b) The program may provide for one or more special schools, classes, treatment or instruction centers for children with one or more types of disabilities.

(c) A school district shall be included under the county program only to the extent approved by formal action of the school board.

(3)Organization.

(a) The board shall consist of 3 or more persons, as determined by the county board of supervisors, elected by the county board or appointed by the chairperson of the county board, as the rules of the county board direct. Board members shall be electors selected from that part of the county participating in the program and shall be representative of the area the board serves. The board may include school board members, members of the county board of supervisors and other electors. Board members shall hold office for a term of 3 years, except that the terms of office of members of the first board shall be 3 years, 2 years and one year. Board members shall receive compensation and reimbursement for mileage in an amount fixed by the county board of supervisors, but not more than that of county board members.

(b) The board annually shall select one member as chairperson and one as secretary. The county treasurer shall serve as board treasurer but shall not be a member of the board.

(c) The board shall appoint an advisory committee whose membership includes school district administrators representative of the area the board serves.

(4)Application. Upon authorization of the county board, the board shall apply to the division for the establishment of a program or part of a program to provide special education and related services. The application shall state whether the program or part will be available in the county at large or only to certain school districts.

(5)Board duties.

(a) The board shall have charge of all matters pertaining to the organization, equipment, operation and maintenance of such programs and may do all things necessary to perform its functions, including the authority to erect buildings subject to county board approval and employ teachers and other personnel. The board shall prepare an annual budget, which shall be subject to approval of the county board under s. 65.90 unless a resolution is adopted under sub. (9) (c), and shall include funds for the hiring of staff, the purchase of materials, supplies and equipment and the operation and maintenance of buildings or classrooms.

(b)

1. At the close of each fiscal year, the board shall employ a certified public accountant licensed or certified under ch. 442 to audit its accounts and certify the audit. The cost of the audit shall be paid from board funds.

3. The department shall establish by rule a standard contract and minimum standards for audits performed under this paragraph.

(c) If the county board of supervisors establishes an initiative to provide coordinated services under s. 59.53 (7), the county children with disabilities education board shall participate in the initiative, and may enter into written interagency agreements or contracts under the initiative.

(d) Annually by October 1, the board and the school boards of the school districts participating in the county program shall submit a report to the state superintendent that specifies the portion of each school day that each pupil enrolled in the county program who is also enrolled in the school district of the pupil's residence spent in county program classes in the previous school year and the portion of the school day that the pupil spent in school district classes in the previous school year. The state superintendent shall develop guidelines for a full-time equivalency methodology. The state superintendent is not required to promulgate the guidelines as rules.

(6)Assignment of functions.

(a) The board may not assign by resolution or by contract the full administrative or instructional services of the board.

(b) The ability of the board to contract with the board of control of a cooperative educational service agency, a school board or other public agency in the county for a portion of administrative or instructional services is not prohibited by par. (a). The board shall be responsible for all programs contracted under this paragraph.

(7)Withdrawal and dissolution.

(a) The school board of any school district that is included under the administration of a board may withdraw from participation in any part of the program only with the approval of the state superintendent after conference with the board and a determination by the state superintendent that such withdrawal is in the interest of the program in the county and the school district affected. Such withdrawal shall be effective only if the school board has the approval of the division to establish an equivalent part of a program. Such withdrawal shall be effective either December 31 or June 30 provided that 12 months' notice has been given to the board. The withdrawing school district shall be liable for its proportionate share of all operating costs until its withdrawal becomes effective, shall continue to be liable for its share of debt incurred while it was a participant and shall receive no share in the assets.

(b) A program established under this section may be dissolved by action of the county board, but such dissolution shall not take place until the end of the school term in which the action was taken. When a program is dissolved, assets and liabilities shall be distributed under s. 66.0235 to all units which participated in the program, except as provided in sub. (9m).

(8)Transportation. The board may promulgate a plan for the transportation at county expense of children who are receiving special education and related services under this section, special education and related services provided at child care centers, or special education and related services provided by a private organization within whose attendance area the child resides and which is situated not more than 5 miles beyond the boundaries of the area the board serves, as measured along the usually traveled route. The plan, upon approval of the state superintendent, shall govern the transportation of such children. Any such plan for transportation during the school term supersedes ss. 115.88 and 121.54 (3).

(9)Area taxed.

(a) The tax for the operation and maintenance of each part of a special education program and for the transportation of children under sub. (8) shall be levied against the area of the county participating in the part of the program. The tax for the costs associated with the dissolution of the program operated by the Racine County children with disabilities education board that are specified under sub. (9m) shall continue to be levied only against the area of Racine County that participated in the program before its dissolution.

(b) Beginning July 1, 1981, no board, except a board that has constructed or acquired building facilities, may continue to operate under this section if the area taxed under par. (a) constitutes less than 50 percent of the full value of taxable property within the county.

(c) Upon the adoption of a resolution by a majority of the school boards that are located in whole or in part in the county and are participating in the county program under sub. (2) (c), this subsection shall not apply commencing on the effective date of the resolution. A resolution adopted under this paragraph between January 1 and June 30 in any year shall be effective on January 1 of the year commencing after its adoption. A resolution adopted under this paragraph between July 1 and December 31 in any year shall be effective on January 1 of the 2nd year commencing after its adoption. In the year in which the resolution is effective, the county budget under s. 59.60 or 65.90 shall include a line item for the special education program.

(9m)Racine County. If the program operated by the Racine County children with disabilities education board is dissolved by the Racine County board of supervisors under sub. (7) (b), all assets and liabilities shall be distributed as provided under sub. (7) (b), except that Racine County shall continue to be responsible for paying the costs associated with the postretirement health benefits of former employees of the Racine County children with disabilities education board and the costs incurred under s. 40.05 (2) (b) before dissolution for the unfunded prior service liability for former employees of the Racine County children with disabilities education board.

(10)State aids.

(a) The board may apply for and receive the state aid under s. 115.88 for the transportation, board and lodging, treatment, and instruction of children participating in programs under this section.

(b) The board may apply for and receive the state aid under ss. 121.135 and 121.14. This paragraph does not apply beginning on the effective date of a resolution adopted under sub. (9) (c).

(c) All state aid shall be paid to the county treasurer and credited to the fund of the board.

(11)Violations. The state superintendent shall withhold aid from any board that violates this section.

History: 1997 a. 164; 1999 a. 150 s. 672; 2001 a. 16; 2001 a. 30 s. 108; 2003 a. 33, 180; 2009 a. 185, 334.

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