CONTACT:  Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

ASHWAUBENON–Governor Scott Walker visited Valley View Elementary in Ashwaubenon today to discuss his proposed $100 million School Safety Plan and highlight the state’s historic $11.5 billion investment in K-12 education in this budget.

“No child, parent, or teacher should feel unsafe in school,” Governor Walker said. “Our $100 million School Safety Plan will help ensure schools across our state have the resources to improve security.”

Last week, Governor Walker called a special session of the Legislature to pass his School Safety Plan. The plan includes seven components:

  • Establishing the Office of School Safety under the Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Creating a $100 million School Safety Grant Program under the Office of School Safety
  • Requiring mandatory reporting for any threats of school violence
  • Amending the bullying statute to include prompt parental notification
  • Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) into training programs
  • Strengthening school safety plan requirements
  • Encouraging cooperation between local law enforcement and schools

All of this is in addition to the 2017-19 Wisconsin State Budget’s historic investment of $11.5 billion into K-12 education – which includes a new $6.65 million investment for mental health services in Wisconsin’s schools.

Governor Walker, last week, signed a bill to help low-population school districts by modifying the sparsity categorical aid program and revenue limit ceiling for school districts. The bill increases the per pupil sparsity amount from $300 to $400 beginning in fiscal year 2018-19 and appropriates $6,454,600 GPR to fund this increase. This will benefit an estimated 144 school districts throughout Wisconsin. The bill also increases the low revenue ceiling from $9,100 to $9,400 in 2018-19, $9,500 in 2019-20, $9,600 in 2020-21, $9,700 in 2021-22 and $9,800 in 2022-23. Currently, 107 school districts have per pupil revenue base amounts of less than $9,400, and therefore may be eligible for the low revenue ceiling adjustment in 2018-19.

Special Session on School Safety Plan

Office of School Safety:

Create an Office of School Safety within the Wisconsin Department of Justice. The Office would work with law enforcement and schools to establish best practices for school safety plans; provide training opportunities and other relevant resources to schools. The Office would consist of two permanent positions (a director and program and planning analyst) and two project positions.

The Office would be responsible for requiring schools to upload their blueprints to GIS mapping and ensure that schools also provide those blueprints to local law enforcement.

School Safety Grant Program:

The Office of School Safety would be charged with implementing a new grant program of $100 million GPR. The grant program would be available to all schools for security improvements to school buildings, training opportunities, and school resource officers.

Mandatory Reporting:

The school safety package includes a provision that makes all current mandatory reporters for suspected child abuse to also be mandatory reporters for any threats of school violence. Mandatory reporters include medical professionals, mental health professionals, teachers, and guidance counselors. Additionally, an exemption to confidentiality laws is created for mental health professionals when a patient threatens school violence.

Parental Responsibility:

Amend the current bullying notification statutes to require the parent or guardian to be notified within 48 hours of a bullying incident involving their child. Current law requires notification of the parent or guardian but does not include a specific time requirement.

Trauma-Informed Care:

Require Trauma-Informed Care and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) be included in any training that is offered by the Office of School Safety. Training could include Trauma Sensitive Schools and Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, which is currently used in a number schools.

School Safety Plans:

Strengthen school safety plan requirements, originally adopted under 2009 Act 309. The additional requirements would include emergency prevention and mitigation and security plans for after school activities, among several other requirements.

Pupil Privacy:

Ensure live video streams of schools can be shared with local law enforcement without violating pupil privacy law.

A copy of Governor Walker’s executive order calling a special session of the Wisconsin State Legislature is attached. Governor Walker also signed an executive order directing the State of Wisconsin to further assist school districts by facilitating use of existing state contracts and creating new state contracts that includes safety and security equipment, supplies and services at competitively-bid prices and advantageous terms. A copy of this executive order is also attached.

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