The Indoor Environmental Quality in Schools Task Force (IEQ Task Force) was created by 2009 Wisconsin Act 96. The Act directed the State Superintendent to establish a special committee consisting of 17 members representing schools, government, and professional organizations. The purpose of the task force was to make recommendations to the State Superintendent for the development of a model management plan for maintaining indoor environmental quality reflecting best management practices, indoor environmental quality training requirements for school district or private employees who are responsible for the operation and maintenance of schools, educational materials relating to indoor environmental quality in schools, and model specifications for the design and construction of school facilities or additions to school facilities.
The IEQ Task Force reported its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the education committees of the Legislature in February 2011.
2009 Act 96 directed the DPI to consider the recommendations of the task force to establish a model management plan and practices for maintaining indoor environmental quality in public and private schools. The model plan was to be established by February 1, 2012, the first day of the 12th month beginning after the month in which the task force submitted its report.
Current law requires each public school district and private school participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program or the Private Parental School Choice Program to provide for the:
- development of an IEQ management plan by May 1, 2012 - the first day of the 3rd month beginning after the month in which the department establishes the model management plan.
- implementation of an IEQ management plan by February 1, 2013 - the first day of the 12th month beginning after the month in which the department establishes the model management plan.
Private schools new to the Choice programs have until October 1 of the first year of operation in the program to develop a plan and until the beginning of the second year of operation to implement the plan.
The DPI Model Management Plan is set up as a template that schools and districts may choose to use or adapt as their own. The section headings in the template reflect the recommendations of the task force and should be included in each plan. Each section provides options that the school or district may choose to use to describe how each indoor environmental quality (IEQ) topic will be addressed. Schools and districts may use the template to create a very basic plan, write a more descriptive plan using recommendations of the task force and including language from the EPA Tools for Schools materials, or describe in more detail programs, processes, policies or activities that are already in place or are being developed to prevent or resolve concerns over indoor environmental quality.
The law does not require use of any particular template or format for an IEQ Management Plan. Districts and schools are free to use the DPI template as a model, develop their own plans, or adapt existing plans, procedure handbooks, or policy documents to demonstrate compliance with the planning and implementation requirements.