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Legislators propose tracking crime in schools

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republicans are looking for ways to better track crime and student safety incidents in public schools.

The Beloit Daily News reported Monday that Sen. Mary Lazich and Rep. Ken Skowronski have drafted a bill that would create a pilot program to record incidents in one urban school district, one suburban district and one rural school. The lawmakers haven’t formally introduced the measure yet.

The newspaper also reported that Rep. John Jagler has proposed a bill that would require public high schools and private high schools participating in the state’s voucher program to collect statistics on crimes and safety incidents on school property, school buses and school-sanctioned events beginning in the fall of 2017.

The state Department of Public Instruction would have to include the statistics on its annual school and school district accountability report. The information would not be used to determine a school or district’s performance rating, however.

“We have seen educational polling that shows parents, especially in urban settings, place a high value on school character and safety,” Jagler said in a statement. “We should be responsive to those factors that parents identify as important and make sure there is a clear, transparent way for them to get that data.”

The Assembly’s education committee held a public hearing on the measure on Dec. 17.

A report from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Systems for 2011-2012 found that 11.3 percent of Wisconsin teachers reported their students had physically attacked them and 13.7 percent reported students had threatened them with injury.

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