Tusler’s first bill passes in Assembly

Posted at 1:15 p.m. on May 3, 2017

The Brillion News

MADISON – State Representative Ron Tusler’s first piece of legislation passed the State Assembly on a voice vote Tuesday.

“I am very proud to pass my first piece of legislation today. This bill embodies one of the reasons why I decided to serve in State government. This bill gives the legislature a chance to represent our constituents and have formal input on Wisconsin’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan,” Tusler, R-Harrison, said. “I am confident that our founding fathers would expect our legislature to take an active role in this important plan.”

The bill allows members of the Assembly and Senate Education Committees to raise objections to the Department of Instruction’s “Every Student Succeeds Act” plan.

If any objections are raised, the committees are required to hold a hearing on the objections and vote on them. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has two weeks to respond, in writing, whether or not it will change the plan in response to the objections.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a Federal law that requires the DPI to create a plan that establishes a federal accountability system, identify indicators that measure student academic success, and explains how to identify low performing schools and how the state will intervene, among other things. Federal law requires “meaningful consultation” by the State legislature, among other stakeholders, in the creation of the plan.

“This bill simply requires a hearing on any objections to the bill and a written response from DPI whether or not they will change Wisconsin’s plan in light of our objections. ‘Meaningful consultation’ can take many forms, like in Minnesota where there is legislation that would require an up or down vote by the legislature on its plan,” Tusler said. “Adding the legislature’s eyes and representative voice of our constituents can only serve to make our plan better for our kids.”

Wisconsin’s federal K-12 education funding hinges on the submission of the plan. Wisconsin received more than $204 million in Title I-A funding for the 2016-17 school year. The bill now heads to the State Senate for a hearing in committee.

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