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118.38 Waivers of laws and rules

118.38   Waivers of laws and rules. (1) (a) A school board may request the department to waive any school board or school district requirement in chs. 115 to 121 or in the administrative rules promulgated by the department under the authority of those chapters, except for statutes or rules related to any of the following:

  1. The health or safety of pupils.

  2. Pupil discrimination under s. 118.13.

  3. The pupil assessment program under s. 118.30 and the standardized reading test required under s. 121.02 (1) (r).

  4. Pupil records under s. 118.125.

  5. The collection of data by the department.

  6. The uniform financial fund accounting system under ss. 115.28 (13) and 115.30 (1) and audits of school district accounts under s. 120.14.

  7. Licensure or certification under s. 115.28 (7) or (7m) other than the licensure of the school district administrator or business manager.

(b) Before requesting a waiver, the school board shall hold a public hearing in the school district on the request.

(lm) The school board shall specify in its request for a waiver its reason for requesting the waiver.

(2) In determining whether to grant the waiver, the department shall consider all of the following factors and may consider additional factors:

(a) Whether the requirement impedes progress toward achieving a local improvement plan developed under sec. 309 (a) (3) of P.L. 103-227.

(b) If the school board has adopted educational goals for the school district, whether the requirement impedes progress toward achieving the goals.

(2m) Beginning on January 1, 1996, a school board shall submit a request for a waiver to the secretary. If the secretary denies a waiver, the school board may, within 30 days after the denial, appeal the denial to the commission. The commission shall issue a decision on the appeal within 30 days after receiving the appeal.

(3) A waiver is effective for 4 years. The secretary shall renew the waiver for additional 4-year periods if the school board has evaluated the educational and financial effects of the waiver over the previous 4-year period, except that the secretary is not required to renew a waiver if the secretary determines that the school district is not making adequate progress toward improving pupil academic performance.

(4) By July 1, 2000, the department shall submit a report to the governor, and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3). The report shall specify the number of waivers requested under this section, a description of each waiver request, the reason given for each waiver request and the educational and financial effects on the school district of each waiver that was granted.

For questions about this information, contact Christine Tiedje (608) 266-3706