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Public School District Reorganization-School District Boundary Disputes

(Wis. Stats. 117.35)


APPLICATION
Wis. Stats. 117.35
Sec. 117.35, Wis. Stats., applies to disputes between two or more school districts concerning whether certain territory is located within a particular school district.

RESOLUTION OF DISPUTE
Wis. Stats. 117.35 (1) and (2)
School district boundary disputes may be resolved in either of two ways: The interested school boards may resolve the dispute voluntarily, or any of the interested school boards may request the School District Boundary Appeal Board to resolve the dispute.

SCHOOL BOARD RESOLUTION
Wis. Stats. 117.35 (1)
The affected school boards may resolve the dispute voluntarily by the adoption, by each affected school board, of a resolution resolving the dispute.

Before adopting such a resolution, the school boards shall jointly notify the electors residing in and owners of real property located in the disputed territory by certified mail.  The notice shall include a description of the territory, as certified by the clerk of each city, town or village within which all or any part of the territory is located.  The notice shall indicate that the school boards are considering resolving the boundary dispute and it shall specify the time and place of the school board meeting at which the boundary dispute will be discussed.

Each resolution shall include a legal description of the territory in dispute and a legal description of that portion of the disputed territory that is to be included in each interested school district.  The school district clerk of each school district that adopts a boundary dispute resolution shall, within five days after adopting the resolution, send a certified copy of the resolution to the school board of each of the other interested school districts, file a certified copy of the resolution with the School District Boundary Appeal Board and notify the electors residing in and the owners of real property located in the disputed territory.

If the school board of each of the interested school districts adopts a boundary dispute resolution, the resolution of the dispute shall take effect on the first July 1 after the March 1 following the adoption of the resolutions.

SDBAB RESOLUTION
Wis. Stats. 117.35 (2) and (3)
The school board of any interested school district may submit a written request to the School District Boundary Appeal Board for resolution of the boundary dispute.  The request shall state the particulars of the dispute, including a legal description of the territory involved and the names of all the interested school districts.  The school board making the request shall send a copy of the request by first-class mail to each interested school district at the time the request is submitted to the SDBAB.

Upon receipt of the request, the SDBAB shall determine or request the school boards of all the interested school districts to provide a description of the territory in dispute, as certified by the clerk of each city, town or village within which all or any part of the disputed territory is located, and the number of pupils residing in the disputed territory who, on the most recent of the preceding third Friday of September or second Friday of January, were enrolled in each interested school district.

The SDBAB shall issue an order resolving the dispute within 60 days of receiving the request, unless the school boards of the interested school districts have resolved the boundary dispute voluntarily. In making its decision, the SDBAB shall consider and give the greatest weight to decisions made previously by the SDBAB or any predecessor body. The SDBAB shall also consider the criteria for reorganization found in sec. 117.15, Wis. Stats., and other evidence, including applicable property tax records, when making its decision. The SDBAB shall send a certified copy of the order to the school boards of each interested school district.

The order shall take effect on the following July 1 unless the SDBAB stays the effective date of the order until the second following July 1.

EFFECTIVE DATES
If the boundary dispute is resolved voluntarily by the interested school boards the resolution of the dispute shall take effect on the first July 1 after the March 1 following the adoption of the resolutions resolving the dispute.

If the boundary dispute is resolved by the SDBAB the order shall take effect on the following July 1 unless the SDBAB stays the effective date of the order until the second following July 1.

If a boundary dispute resolution order by the SDBAB takes effect on the following July 1, the SDBAB may specify in the order that pupils residing in the disputed territory may continue to attend school in the school district that they are attending before the order takes effect until the July 1 following the effective date.  The SDBAB shall base its decision on the estimated fiscal and other effects of the decision on the interested school districts.

LIMITATION ON COURT ACTION
Wis. Stats. 117.35 (4)
If there is a boundary dispute, the school board of any interested school district may not commence any court action regarding that dispute until an order by the SDBAB resolving that dispute is filed with the secretary of the SDBAB.  In other words, interested school districts must first attempt to resolve boundary disputes either voluntarily or through the SDBAB.  School district boundary disputes may only be heard in circuit court as appeals of an order by the SDBAB.

 

For questions about this information, contact Janice Zmrazek (608) 266-2803