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Public School District Reorganization-Dissolution of a School District (Wis. Stats. 117.10)

INITIATION OF PROCEDURES - Wis. Stats. 117.10(1)
The dissolution of a school district may be initiated by the adoption of a resolution by the affected school board stating it will consider dissolving the school district. The school district clerk of the school board adopting the resolution shall send a certified copy of the resolution to the Secretary of the School District Boundary Appeal Board (SDBAB).

SCHOOL BOARD ACTION - Wis. Stats. 117.10(2)
In the July following the adoption of the resolution to consider dissolution, the school board may order the school district dissolved by adopting a resolution ordering the dissolution. Failure of a school board to adopt a resolution either ordering or denying the dissolution before August 1 constitutes a denial of the dissolution. If the order is approved by the SDBAB, the dissolution becomes effective the following July 1.

ADVISORY REFERENDUM
Wis. Stats. 117.10(3)

If the school board determines that the school district shall dissolve, an advisory referendum on the dissolution shall be held if either of the following happens:

 

  • At the time of adopting the resolution ordering the dissolution, the school board directs the holding of an advisory referendum;
  • Before the 2nd Tuesday of September a petition for an advisory referendum, signed by at least ten (10) percent of the electors residing in the school district, is filed with the school district clerk.

Click on the following link to view or print a referendum petition form. (Users must have a Portable Document Format (PDF) reader installed and configured on their web browser. The Acrobat Reader is free and available at Adobe's web site.).  For the most up to date information on a petiton for referendum contact the Government Accountability Board - (608) 266-8005.

If a referendum is required, it shall be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November following the receipt of the petition or adoption of the resolution.

BOARD REVIEW
Wis. Stats. 117.10(4)

After the 2nd Tuesday in September following the adoption of the resolution to dissolve, or after the advisory referendum, if one is required, the School District Boundary Appeal Board (SDBAB) shall review the dissolution and before the following January 15 issue an order either affirming or denying the school board's dissolution order. If the SDBAB determines that the school district shall dissolve, it shall also assign the school district's territory, assets and liabilities {s. 66.0235(2c)(a), Wis. Stats.} to one or more other school districts.

If the SDBAB affirms the school board's dissolution, the SDBAB shall specify if the employees of the dissolving school district become employees of the newly created school district {s. 117.25(1)(d), Wis. Stats.} or if s. 117.25(2)(b), Wis. Stats., applies whereby any employee laid off as a result of reorganization has priority over other persons, except for those employees of the school district to which the territory is to be attached to, for a period of three (3) years after the effective date of reorganization for new or vacant positions for which he or she is qualified.

EFFECT OF NEW BUILDING CONSTRUCTION
Wis. Stats. 117.10(5)

A school district may not dissolve under these procedures if it has constructed a new school building within the preceding three (3) years for which it still has outstanding debt, unless the school district to which the building is assigned agrees, by vote of its school board, to accept both the building and the debt or, prior to the effective date of the dissolution, the building is sold and the debt is paid.

APPEAL TO CIRCUIT COURT
Wis. Stats. 117.14

Any person aggrieved by an order of the School District Boundary Appeal Board or Appeal Panel may appeal the order to a circuit court within 30 days after copies of the order are filed with the secretary of the board under s. 117.17(2), Wis. Stats. To begin the appeal, the aggrieved person must serve written notice, specifically stating the grounds for the appeal, upon the Secretary of the SDBAB and file the notice with the clerk of circuit court of any county in which any territory of any affected school district is located.

WHAT THE STATUTES SAY WITH REGARD TO NOTIFICATION

  • The school district clerk of a district adopting a resolution to consider dissolution must send a certified copy of the resolution to the Secretary of the SDBAB. {Wis. Stats. 117.10(1)}
  • The school district clerk of a district adopting a resolution either ordering or denying the dissolution must send a certified copy of the resolution to the Secretary of the SDBAB. {Wis. Stats. 117.10(2)}
  • If an advisory referendum is directed or a petition requesting an advisory referendum is filed, the school district clerk shall immediately notify the Secretary of the SDBAB and the clerk of each city, village or town, any part of which is contained within the school district. {Wis. Stats. 117.10(3)(b)}
  • The clerk of the school district shall file a certified statement prepared by the school district board of canvassers of the results of the referendum with the Secretary of the SDBAB. {Wis. Stats. 117.20(2)}

For a sample dissolution order or more information, contact Janice Zmrazek, Consultant, School Management Services, (608) 266-2803.

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