2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 117. School district reorganization.
117.05 General provisions.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 117.05 (2017)

117.05 General provisions.

(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.

(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.

(2)Selection of board members for each review; board and school board voting requirements.

(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.

(b) School board. Any action by a school board under this chapter requires the affirmative vote of a majority of its full authorized membership.

(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.

(4)Limitations on proceedings.

(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:

1. An order granting the reorganization takes effect.

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.

(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.:

1. Any other reorganization proceeding commenced or order made that includes any territory included in the pending reorganization proceeding is void.

2. State aid shall be apportioned to the affected school districts as if the reorganization had not been initiated.

(c) One-year limitation on consideration of transfers.

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.

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.

(d) Four-year limitation on consideration of creation of a school district.

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.

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.

(5)All territory in school district; contiguous union high school district territory.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(9)Board and appeal panel fees.

(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:

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).

1m. The village boards of villages and the affected school district under s. 117.105 (4m).

2. A person who files a petition requesting review by the board under s. 117.105 (2m).

3. A school board that adopts a resolution to dissolve the school district under s. 117.10 (2).

4. A school board that requests review by the board under s. 117.132 (4) (a) 1.

5. A person who files a petition requesting review by the board under s. 117.132 (4) (a) 2.

6. A school board requesting resolution of a boundary dispute under s. 117.35 (2).

(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.

(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).

(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.

History: 1989 a. 114, 287; 1993 a. 392; 1995 a. 27 ss. 3927 to 3930, 9145 (1); 1997 a. 27, 286; 1999 a. 18, 32; 2015 a. 55; 2017 a. 59; s. 35.17 correction in (7).

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