Appleton Area School District Response to Wisconsin Supreme Court Case No. 2015AP231
Posted on 06/29/2017
While I am certainly disappointed with the decision by the Supreme Court, the District appreciates the clarification provided  by the Supreme Court, and the District will certainly take all necessary measures to ensure our practices will be in complete compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision, now and on a going forward basis.

It has never been the intent of the Board of Education to circumvent Open Meetings Law by delegating their authority to educator work committees.

The Board of Education is committed to continuously improving student learning and engaging community members in the educational process is an important component of these continuous improvement efforts. Part and parcel of this commitment is the continued commitment to transparency in the conduct of Board operations. 

As recognized by the Court, this case was a close call as to whether the committee formed by District employees was created by a “rule” of the governing body – the Board. The District’s position in this case was supported by a number of organizations representing the interests of counties, municipalities, and school districts across the State, including the Wisconsin Counties Association, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials, the Wisconsin Association of School Personnel Administrators, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, the Wisconsin Council for Administrative Services, the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, and the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators. 

Collectively, these groups, and the local governments they represent, are committed to the notion of a fully informed electorate. These groups understand the significance of open government and sought clarity as to what that means. At the same time they also recognize, as did the Court, public entities must be able to hold administrative meetings that are not subject to the Open Meetings Law requirements in order for these entities to operate.

While the District disagrees that the committee of employees that formed to review a parent complaint was directed by the Board; moving forward – the District will review the complete Supreme Court decision and make necessary changes to our policies to be in complete compliance with the decision.  

Lee Allinger
Superintendent 
Appleton Area School District
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