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SDBAB Panel Hearing Procedures


The School District Boundary Appeal Board (SDBAB) panel consists of three individuals who currently serve as school board members of their local school districts and who have been appointed by the State Superintendent to hear appeals filed under Chapter 117, Wis. Stats. A non-voting chairperson, also appointed by the State Superintendent, facilitates the hearing.

Initial Hearing Information

In the weeks prior to the hearing, the school districts are asked to submit the following information:

  • A copy of the notice of any local school board hearing on a petition or a resolution for reorganization, transcribed minutes, transcribed stenographic record or electronic recording of hearing, and a copy of all exhibits and data submitted at the hearing;
  • class schedule, list of courses, or other information about the academic program of any school or schools attended, or that would be attended, by students residing on the territory that is the subject of the appeal;
  • school district map indicating location of property under appeal; and
  • any written statement of facts or other relevant matters relating to a proposed reorganization.

Petitioners will also be given the opportunity to submit information prior to the hearing. This information, along with any other relevant documents that are received by the Secretary of the SDBAB, become part of the Official File for each hearing. A copy of the Official File is provided to each SDBAB panel member, school district representative, and petitioner in advance of the hearing so he/she may study the documents and become familiar with the issues related to the appeal.

During the Hearing

Additional documents that are not already included in the official file may be presented as exhibits during the appeal hearing. If such documents are to be used, they should be submitted to the recording secretary 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of the appeal so they can be properly verified and marked. Eight copies of each exhibit are needed for distribution.

The proponent(s) (those people asking that the school board’s order of denial be reversed and that the territory be detached) present their case first. The time limit for the presentation is one hour. The opponent(s) (those people who want the territory to remain in the school district) are also given up to one hour for their presentation. After the presentations, a 10-minute summation or rebuttal time is given to both parties.

Hearing Conclusion

At the conclusion of the public presentations, the SDBAB panel is given an opportunity to ask questions of anyone who presented testimony or of other parties in attendance. However, no one is allowed to make statements during this time period unless asked to do so by panel members. When the panel has no more questions, deliberations begin.

The panel discusses the appeal and makes its decision in the presence of the proponent(s), opponent(s), and audience. In accordance with s. 117.15, Wis. Stats., the appeal panel considers and weighs specific criteria as they affect the educational welfare of all of the children residing in all of the school districts affected by the proposed reorganization (view list of criteria).

For questions about this information, contact Kathy Fry (608) 224-5343, (608) 267-9114