The SAA membership has been informed in previous reporting that the SAA opposes Assembly Bill 963, the so-called Parental Bill of Rights. However, you may not be aware that the SAA feels so strongly about this legislation that we took the extraordinary step of retaining Attorney Mike Julka of the Boardman & Clark Law Firm to prepare a thorough legal analysis of the bill. Today, the SAA forwarded that legal memo to all Wisconsin legislators, the Governor’s office and selected members of the press. Tomorrow (Tuesday, February 22nd), AB 963 is scheduled for floor action in the Assembly.
AB 963 creates significant legal challenges for school districts. First, the bill creates a private cause of action for parents against school districts with respect to an extremely broad set of complex issues. This will likely result in districts having to defend increased lawsuits, and given the bill’s high legal standard of review, it will be difficult for districts to prevail in these suits. Second, the ambiguity and lack of definitions in the bill fails to provide school districts with adequate direction for them to modify their policies and practices and mitigate legal risk. Third, the bill fails to reconcile itself with existing law creating discrepancies that will force school districts to make uncertain choices as to which law to follow. Finally, this bill will make it extremely difficult for school districts to manage and deliver a successful education for all students. For these reasons, the bill is simply unworkable for school districts.
Please find below a link to Attorney Julka’s analysis of AB 963. I encourage all interested SAA members to review this memo. If you should have any questions regarding our position on AB 963, please call me at 608-242-1370.