2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 117. School district reorganization.
117.12 Detachment and attachment of small territory initiated by owner.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 117.12 (2017)

117.12 Detachment and attachment of small territory initiated by owner.

(1)Application. This section applies to the detachment of territory from one school district and its attachment to an adjoining school district if all of the following apply:

(a) The assessed value of the territory proposed to be detached from one school district and attached to an adjoining school district, divided by the assessment ratio of the taxation district, is less than 7 percent of the equalized valuation of the school district from which it is proposed to be detached.

(b) Less than 7 percent of the enrollment of the school district from which the territory is proposed to be detached resides in the territory proposed to be detached from that school district.

(2)Petition. A majority of the electors residing in the territory described under sub. (1) or owners of 50 percent or more of that territory may file a written petition with the clerk of the school district in which the territory is located requesting the detachment of the territory from that school district and its attachment to an adjoining school district. The petition shall include a description of the territory sufficiently accurate to determine its location in the school district in which it is located, as certified by the clerk of each city, town or village within which all or part of the territory is located, and the number of pupils residing in that territory who, on the most recent of the preceding 3rd Friday of September or 2nd Friday of January, were enrolled in the school district from which the territory is proposed to be detached, as certified by the clerk of that school district. Upon receipt of the petition, the school district clerk shall send a certified copy of the petition to the school board of the school district to which the territory is proposed to be attached and to the secretary of the board.

(3)School board action. In the first February beginning after receipt of a petition under sub. (2), the school boards of the affected school districts may order the territory detached from the school district in which it is located and attached to the adjoining school district by the adoption, by each of those school boards, of a resolution ordering the reorganization. Before adopting a resolution under this subsection that grants or denies the reorganization, each school board shall give the electors and owners who signed the petition under sub. (2) an opportunity to meet with the school board to present their reasons for the proposed reorganization. Failure of a school board to adopt a resolution before March 1 either ordering or denying the reorganization constitutes a denial of the reorganization by the school board. The school district clerk of each school board adopting a resolution under this subsection that orders or denies a reorganization shall, within 5 days after the adoption of the resolution, send a certified copy of the resolution to the school board of the other affected school district 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 detachment and attachment, the reorganization shall take effect on the following July 1.

(4)Appeal to panel. If the detachment and attachment of territory is denied by either school board under sub. (3), a majority of the electors residing in the territory or the owners of 50 percent or more of the territory may appeal the denial to an appeal panel by filing notice of appeal with the secretary of the board before the March 15 following the denial. The secretary of the board shall send a copy of the notice of appeal to the school board of each affected school district. Except as provided under sub. (5), the appeal panel shall issue an order either affirming the school board's denial of the proposed reorganization or ordering all or any part of the territory described in the petition under sub. (2) detached from the school district in which it is located and attached to the adjoining school district. The order shall be issued before the June 15 following the filing of the notice of appeal. The order shall be in writing, shall include a statement of reasons for the order and shall be filed as provided under s. 117.17 (2). If the appeal panel orders territory detached from one school district and attached to an adjoining school district, the reorganization shall take effect on the following July 1.

(5)Board review.

(a) If more than one appeal to detach territory from a single school district is filed under sub. (4) before March 15 and any of the following applies, the board shall review all of those appeals:

1. The total assessed valuation of the territory proposed to be detached under the appeals, divided by the assessment ratio of the taxation district, is equal to or greater than 7 percent of the equalized valuation of the school district from which the territory is proposed to be detached.

2. The total number of pupils residing in the territory proposed to be detached under the appeals who, on the most recent of the preceding 3rd Friday of September or 2nd Friday of January, were enrolled in the school district from which the territory is proposed to be detached is equal to or greater than 7 percent of that school district's enrollment.

(am) In addition to reviewing appeals described under par. (a), the board shall review an appeal if any of the following applies:

1. The assessed valuation of the territory proposed to be detached under the appeal, divided by the assessment ratio of the taxation district, when added to the total assessed valuation of all territory detached from that school district in the 2 years preceding the date on which the petition was filed under sub. (2), divided by the appropriate assessment ratios, is equal to or greater than 2 percent of the school district's equalized valuation.

2. The number of pupils residing in the territory proposed to be detached under the appeal who are included in the enrollment of the school district from which the territory is proposed to be detached, when added to the number of pupils who resided in territory detached from that school district, and were included in previous enrollments of that school district, in the 2 years preceding the date on which the petition was filed under sub. (2), constitute 2 percent or more of the school district's enrollment.

(b) The secretary of the board shall notify the school board of each affected school district and each owner or elector who signed the notice of appeal under sub. (4) that the appeal or appeals will be reviewed by the board under this subsection rather than by an appeal panel under sub. (4). The board shall issue an order either affirming the school boards' denial of all or any of the proposed reorganizations under par. (a) or the proposed reorganization under par. (am) or ordering all or any part of the territory described in all or any of the petitions under sub. (2) or included in the appeal filed under par. (am) detached from the school district in which it is located and attached to an adjoining school district. In addition to the criteria under s. 117.15, in making its decision the board also shall consider the effect that the proposed detachments under par. (a), taken as a whole, will have on the school district from which the territory is proposed to be detached, or the cumulative effect on that school district of the proposed detachment under par. (am). The board's order shall be issued before the June 15 following the filing of the notice of appeal. The order shall be in writing, shall include a statement of reasons for the order and shall be filed as provided under s. 117.17 (2). If the board orders territory detached from one school district and attached to an adjoining school district, the reorganization shall take effect on the following July 1.

History: 1989 a. 114, 287.

Sub. (1) allows the detachment of “island" parcels from school districts that adjoin. A detached parcel need not adjoin the school district to which it is attached. Stockbridge School Dist. v. DPI, 202 Wis. 2d 214, 550 N.W.2d 96 (1996), 94-1867.

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