MADISON, WI – Following the annual State of the Tribes address to a joint session of the Wisconsin Legislature, the Wisconsin Assembly took up a number of proposals to address school safety concerns.
“Parents and other district residents need to know what’s going on their local schools,” State Rep Dave Armstrong (R-Rice Lake) said. “The bills my colleagues and passed today will make it easier for members of the public to access information about school incidents.”
Assembly Bill 53 requires public high schools, as well as private high schools that participate in parental choice programs, to collect data about disorderly conduct violations and certain crimes that occur on school property or on school transportation and to report this information to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. DPI must in turn include these statistics in its annual school and school district accountability reports.
Assembly Bill 69 also requires public and charter schools to report certain violations, and it establishes that after a school experiences 100 such incidents and 25 related arrests in a semester, it must employ or contract for an armed school resource officer. Under the bill, DPI would reimburse the school for a portion of that cost, using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.
“Parents rightly expect that their children can learn in a safe environment,” Representative Armstrong said. “AB 53 and AB 69 reinforce that expectation, and I was proud to vote for both bills.”
The Assembly also unanimously approved proposals to include county jailers as protective occupation participants for benefit purposes (Assembly Bill 28) and to eliminate the sunset date for Wisconsin Merit Scholarships (Assembly Bill 67).
All four of these bills will now go to the Senate for further consideration.