State News

Mandatory teaching hours for K-12 schools could be eliminated under proposed budget

Included in Gov. Scott Walker’s 2017-’19 budget is a proposal to end a state law requiring a public and private voucher schools to teach for a certain amount of hours.

Image By: Katie Scheidt

As the GOP formulates its spending priorities into the new state budget, one proposal from Gov. Scott Walker would lift the sole mandate enforcing a minimum number of hours of instruction per year in Wisconsin schools.

The plan would do away with the state law that ensures such criteria in both public and private schools, and also lift time requirements for one-on-one instructor availability for students enrolled in virtual charter schools.

Walker’s proposal would make Wisconsin the only state in the country without laws to ensure minimum instruction time for students.

“For us, it’s about eliminating the mandate,” Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Monday. “I want to give maximum flexibility to districts.”

In 2014, state lawmakers eliminated a mandate requiring schools to meet a minimum of 180 days per year.

Proponents of the budget proposal argue that a modern educational system demands innovating instruction time in our schools, and that accountability could be maintained through clearer avenues, like measures of academic achievement and attendance.

Critics, however, worry that this could strike down the only floor for instructor involvement for struggling students.

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