UPDATE: Walker signs bill giving schools more flexibility

UPDATED Tuesday, April 8, 2014 --- 6:31 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Schools will no longer have to teach at least 180 days a year under a bill Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law.

The bill Walker signed Tuesday would allow schools to extend the length of their days to meet the required minimum number of hours schools must be teaching students every year.

But there would no longer be a requirement for schools to be open at least 180 days a year.

That would give schools flexibility to stay for longer hours, but for fewer days.

Rural schools support the change as a way of saving money by being open fewer days and avoiding higher transportation costs and other expenses.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 18, 2014 --- 6:27 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a bill that would end a requirement that schools teach for 180 days a year or lose state funding.

The Republican measure would allow schools to extend their days rather than force them to stay open later in the summer to make up time lost to weather-related closings and parent-teacher conferences. Schools that don't meet the hourly quota would still lose state aid.

Rural schools support the proposal as a way of saving money by keeping doors closed and avoiding higher transportation costs.

The Senate passed the bill last week on a voice vote. The Assembly approved it on a voice vote Tuesday. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 18, 2014 ---- 4:55 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Assembly is getting ready to take up a bill that would end a requirement that schools teach for 180 days a year or lose state funding.

The Republican measure would allow schools to extend their days rather than force them to stay open later in the summer to make up time lost to weather-related closings and parent-teacher conferences. Schools that don't meet the hourly quota would still lose state aid.

Rural schools support the proposal as a way of saving money by keeping doors closed and avoiding higher transportation costs.

The Senate passed the bill last week on a voice vote. The Assembly is set to consider the measure Tuesday. Approval would send the bill on to Gov. Scott Walker.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 11, 2014 --- 3:41 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin schools are one step closer to having the flexibility to teach more hours for fewer days a year.

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that found widespread support from educators and legislators. It now heads to the Assembly.

Rural schools applauded the proposal as a way to save money by keeping doors closed and avoiding higher transportation costs.

The bill also would allow the state Department of Public Instruction to reimburse schools for periods outside regular and summer school calendars.

Leaders from bigger districts say they like the flexibility for funding from the state and the elimination of state mandates.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

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Posted Monday, March 10, 2014 --- 4:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bill that would allow Wisconsin schools to extend school days and shorten school years to save money is up for a vote in the Senate this week.

The bill would get rid of the requirement that schools teach for 180 days or lose state funding. Schools are still required to teach the same number of hours under the bill.

Another change under the law allows the state Department of Public Instruction to fund remedial courses and interim school sessions. The package is being viewed as a cost saving measure for districts that have seen state funding decrease in recent years.

Three Democrats joined the bill's Republican sponsors, and DPI and other education groups have voiced strong support for the proposal.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


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