Assembly committee holds hearing on bill allowing students to transfer schools over COVID-19 policies

MADISON, Wis. — A state Assembly committee held a public hearing Tuesday on a bill that would enable the state to help transfer kindergarten through twelfth-grade students transfer to another school if they or their parents don’t like their school’s COVID-19 rules.

Under the bill, if a student is eligible to transfer schools and is accepted, the Department of Public Instruction must make a payment to the new school on behalf of the student. That payment is approximately $8,000 for students without a disability and $13,000 for those with a disability.

A student would be allowed to transfer once per school year under a number of conditions, including if a school requires students to wear masks or get a COVID-19 vaccine. Students could also transfer if their school does not require masks or vaccinations and they want to attend one that does.

“Wisconsin students and parents deserve to be taught in a way that allows them to flourish,” Rep. Barb Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc), one of the bill’s sponsors, said.

If passed, students would only be eligible to transfer until the end of the 2022-2023 school year.