(Issued pursuant to section 115.7915(5)(a) of the WI state statutes)
This notice serves to inform parents and guardians of students with disabilities that the State of Wisconsin has established the “Special Needs Scholarship Program.” Under this scholarship program, a child with a disability may be eligible to receive a scholarship from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) that allows the child to attend a private school that is participating in the scholarship program. Students who apply for and receive a scholarship may first attend an eligible private school under the program beginning in the 2016-17 school year.
A parent or guardian so is interested in the Special Needs Scholarship Program should independently verify the participating private schools and the specific terms, eligibility criteria, and application procedures of the scholarship program with the DPI. However, the following are some of the initial eligibility requirements that a child must meet in order to receive a program scholarship that covers attendance at an eligible private school beginning in the 2016-17 school year:
- The child, or the child’s parent or guardian on behalf of the child, must have submitted the required application for a program scholarship to the eligible private school that the child will attend.
- An individualized education program, or a services plan as defined under 34 C.F.R. §300.37 of the federal special education regulations, must have been completed for the child.
- The child must have applied to attend a public school in one or more nonresident school districts under the state’s full-time open enrollment programs (see section 118.51 of the statutes) for either the 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, or 2015-16 school year, and all of the open enrollment application(s) submitted for any of those school years must have been denied for one of several specified reasons (including having the DPI affirm the denials if the parent or guardian submitted an appeal).
- The child must have attended a public school in Wisconsin for the 2015-16 school year.
The initial eligibility requirements that a child must meet in order to receive a program scholarship that covers attendance at an eligible private school beginning in the 2017-18 school year (or beginning in any later school year) are different from the requirements listed above. Additional information about the Special Needs Scholarship Program should be available on the website of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: http://dpi.wi.gov/.