MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will conduct a preliminary public hearing from 9 to 11 a.m. April 23 on four statements of scope, which provide a broad overview for the development of administrative rules. Conducting a hearing on scope statements is an additional requirement in the rulemaking process that can be requested under 2017 Wisconsin Act 57.
The hearing will be held at the DPI’s headquarters, GEF 3, Room P41, 125 South Webster Street, Madison. The hearing site is fully accessible to people with disabilities. For those who cannot attend the hearing, written comments sent to the department will be given the same consideration as public testimony.
The statements of scope that will be considered at the morning preliminary hearing are:
- SS 034-18 - relating to changes to PI 15 as a result of 2017 Wisconsin Act 59. The 2017-19 state budget bill rescinded regulations that allowed school boards to adopt a resolution to use a revenue limit exemption for energy efficiencies. The prohibition on school board resolutions for this purpose was effective Dec. 31, 2017, and extends until December 3018. A rule change is needed to make administrative rules reflect current law.
- SS 035-18 - relating to aid for school mental health programs. The scope statement addresses how the department will develop rules to administer the new categorical aid program to support school districts, independent charter schools, and private schools that participate in a parental choice program in providing or expanding mental health services by reimbursing expenditures on social worker services. The aid is to begin in the 2018-19 school year.
- SS 037-18 - relating to restoring part-time open enrollment. The 2013-15 biennial budget eliminated part-time open enrollment, then 2017 Wisconsin Act 59 restored the program. Part-time open enrollment allows public school pupils to attend a nonresident public school to take a course offered by the nonresident school district. The scope statement proposes to reinstate administrative rules related to part-time open enrollment.
- SS 039-18 - relating to the Early College Credit Program and changes to PI 40 as a result of 2017 Wisconsin Act 59. The 2017-19 state budget bill eliminated the Youth Options program and created the new Early College Credit Program which is to be in effect for the 2018-19 school year. The new program allows public and private high school students to enroll in an institution of higher education to take one or more nonsectarian courses for high school credit, postsecondary credit, or both. The scope statement addresses how rules will be developed to specify responsibilities for tuition, conditions under which undue financial burden would waive those responsibilities, and conditions for transportation reimbursement for certain students.
A statement of scope is prepared in advance of any rule that an agency plans to promulgate. It includes a description of the objective of the rule, a description of existing policies relevant to the rule and an analysis of policy alternatives, the statutory authority for the rule, estimates of the amount of time that is expected to develop the rule, a description of entities affected by the rule, and a summary of any federal regulation that is intended to address the activities to be regulated by the rule. As the rules are promulgated, the department will conduct additional public hearings and comment periods for the emergency and proposed permanent administrative rules.
Copies of the scope statements are available on the department’s Administrative Rules webpage or the Wisconsin Legislature Rules site. Written comments may be submitted in lieu of testimony by April 26 online or sent to the department’s administrative rules coordinator by e-mail or U.S. mail. Send to Carl Bryan, 125 South Webster Street, P.O. Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707-7841.