This week the Wisconsin Assembly passed two bills that could expand charter school opportunities in this state. The Legislative Committee of the Madison School Board will review these bills on December 5.
Assembly Bill 730 proposes to amend current law to allow 5 UW-System 4-year universities, in addition to UW-Milwaukee and UW-Parkside, to each sponsor not more than 5 charter schools. The vote to pass was 56-36.
Assembly Bill 698 would amend current law to raise the student enrollment cap from 400 to 480 for the elementary charter school (21st Century Preparatory School) sponsored by UW-Parkside. The vote on this bill was 62-29.
In a related development earlier this week, the Senate Higher Education and Tourism Committee recommended passage of Senate Bill 96 (i.e. Senate companion / identical bill to AB 730) on a vote
A new ECS Issue Brief entitled “A State Policymaker’s Guide to Alternative Authorizers of Charter Schools” provides information about the rationale for allowing multiple agencies to authorize charter schools at the Education Commission of the State’s website — http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/64/69/6469.pdf
The State Legislature’s current floorperiod has ended.The next two-week floor period is scheduled for December 6 – 15, 2005. Then, the legislature will recess through the holidays and resume floor sessions in 2006.