2011 - 2012 LEGISLATURE
ASSEMBLY SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT 1,
TO 2011 ASSEMBLY BILL 110
February 7, 2012 - Offered by Representative Litjens.
1An Act to amend
20.255 (2) (cy), 115.77 (1), 115.791 (4), 121.08 (4) (c), 121.08 (4) 2
(d) and 121.54 (3); and to create
20.255 (2) (az), 115.7915, 118.60 (4s), 119.23 3
(4s), 121.05 (1) (a) 4. and 121.08 (4) (am) of the statutes; relating to: creating
4the Special Needs Scholarship Program for disabled pupils, granting
5rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB110-ASA1, s. 1
20.255 (2) (az) of the statutes is created to read:
(az) Special Needs Scholarship Program.
A sum sufficient to pay the 8
special needs scholarships under s. 115.7915.
AB110-ASA1, s. 2
20.255 (2) (cy) of the statutes is amended to read:
(cy) Aid for transportation; open enrollment and special needs
The amounts in the schedule to reimburse parents for the costs of
transportation of open enrollment
pupils under ss. 115.7915,
118.51 (14) (b),
118.52 (11) (b).
In sub. (1m) (a) to (d), except as provided in s. 118.51 (12) (a) and (b) 5
2., if a child with a disability is attending a public school in a nonresident school 6
district under s. 115.7915,
or 121.84 (1) (a) or (4), "local educational agency" 7
means the school district that the child is attending.
Subject to s. 115.77 (1m) (d) and (e), this section does not require 10
a local educational agency to pay the cost of education, including special education 11
and related services, of a child with a disability at a private school or facility,
12including a child with a disability attending a private school under s. 115.7915,
if the 13
local educational agency made a free appropriate public education available to the 14
child and the child's parents elected to place the child in a private school or facility.
16115.7915 Special Needs Scholarship Program. (1) Definition.
In this 17
(a) "Eligible school" means a public school located in this state but outside the 19
pupil's school district of residence, including a charter school, or a private school 20
located in this state.
(b) "Services plan" has the meaning given in 34 CFR 300.37
22(1m) Scholarship requirements.
Subject to sub. (1r), beginning in the 23
2012-13 school year, a child with a disability shall receive a scholarship under this 24
section to attend an eligible school if all of the following apply:
(a) The school district in which the eligible public school is located, the eligible 2
charter school, or the eligible private school notified the department of its intent to 3
participate in the program under this section. The notice shall specify the number 4
of pupils who may participate in the program under this section for whom the school 5
(b) The school, if a private school, is approved by the state superintendent 7
under s. 118.165 (2) or is accredited by the Wisconsin North Central Association, 8
Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation, the Independent 9
Schools Association of the Central States, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod 10
School Accreditation, National Lutheran School Accreditation, the diocese or 11
archdiocese within which the private school is located, or any other organization 12
recognized by the National Council for Private School Accreditation as of the August 13
1 preceding the school term for which the scholarship is awarded.
(c) An individualized education program or services plan has been completed 15
for the child.
(d) The child attended a public school, attended a private school under s. 118.60 17
or 119.23, or did not attend school in this state, for the entire school year immediately 18
preceding the school year for which the child first receives a scholarship under this 19
(e) The child, or the child's parent on behalf of the child, has submitted an 21
application to the eligible school, on a form prepared by the department, for a 22
scholarship under this section to attend the eligible school. The application shall 23
include the document developed by the department under sub. (2) (a). An application 24
may be made, and a child may begin attending an eligible school under this section, 25
at any time during the school year.
(f) The child has been accepted by the school district in which the eligible public 2
school is located, the eligible charter school, or the eligible private school.
3(1r) Limit on number of scholarships.
The number of scholarships awarded 4
under this section in any school year may not exceed 5 percent of the total number 5
of children with disabilities residing in this state in the previous school year, as 6
determined by the department.
7(1s) Acceptance of pupils.
If an eligible school receives more applications 8
under sub. (1m) (e) than the number of pupils specified in the notice under sub. (1m) 9
(a), it shall select pupils on a random basis except that it may give preference to 10
siblings of pupils who are already attending the eligible school.
11(2) Department duties.
(a) 1. The department shall develop, for inclusion with 12
an application under sub. (1m) (e), a document, and revise it as necessary, comparing 13
the rights of a child with a disability and of his or her parent under this subchapter, 14
other than this section, and 20 USC 1400
, with the rights of a child with a 15
disability and of his or her parent under this section and 20 USC 1400
2. Receipt by an applicant of the document developed under subd. 1., 17
acknowledged in a format prescribed by the department, constitutes notice that the 18
applicant has been informed of his or her rights under this section and 20 USC 1400 19
. Subsequent acceptance of a scholarship under this section constitutes the 20
applicant's informed consent to the rights specified in the document.
(b) The governing body of an eligible school that accepts a child under sub. (1m) 22
(f) shall notify the department. Upon being notified, the department shall do all of 23
1. Notify the school board of the pupil's school district of residence that the pupil 25
has been awarded a scholarship under this section. The school board shall, within
3 days of receiving the notice, provide the department and the governing body of the 2
eligible school that accepted the pupil with a copy of the pupil's individualized 3
2. Determine the amount of the pupil's scholarship. The amount shall be the 5
lesser of the following:
a. Divide the sum of the statewide gross property tax levy for schools in the 7
previous year and the total amount of general school aid appropriated under s. 8
20.255 (2) (ae), (ar), and (bb) in the previous fiscal year by the total statewide 9
membership, as defined in s. 121.004 (5), in the previous school year, and add to the 10
quotient the result obtained by dividing the amount appropriated under s. 20.255 (2) 11
(b) in the previous fiscal year by the total full-time equivalent number of children 12
with disabilities enrolled in public schools in the previous school year.
b. The cost to the school district in which the eligible public school is located, 14
the eligible charter school, or the eligible private school of providing to the pupil 15
regular instruction, instructional and pupil support services, special education and 16
related services, and supplementary aids and services, other than costs under s. 17
115.88 (3) and (4).
3. Prorate the amount determined under subd. 2. for a pupil attending an 19
eligible school for less than a full school term.
4. Notify the parent of the scholarship amount, as determined under subd. 2. 21
or 3., accompanied by an explanation of how the amount was determined.
5. On behalf of the pupil's parent, pay the scholarship to the school district, 23
charter school, or private school that the pupil attends from the appropriation under 24
s. 20.255 (2) (az), except that the department may not pay a scholarship to a private 25
school unless the pupil's parent has acknowledged receiving the private school's
profile under sub. (4) (g) in the manner provided by the department. The scholarship 2
continues while the pupil attends an eligible school until the pupil graduates from 3
high school or until the end of the school term in which the pupil attains the age of 4
21, whichever comes first.
5(3) School board duties.
(a) Annually, each school board shall notify the 6
parents of each child with a disability enrolled in the school district of the program 7
under this section.
(b) Upon the request of a parent of a pupil receiving a scholarship, the pupil's 9
resident school district shall administer the appropriate examinations under s. 10
118.30 to the pupil at no cost if the school attended by the pupil does not administer 11
12(4) Private school duties.
Each private school participating in the program 13
under this section shall do all of the following:
(a) Comply with all health and safety laws or codes that apply to private 15
(b) Hold a valid certificate of occupancy, if required by the municipality in which 17
the school is located or, if the municipality in which the school is located does not 18
issue certificates of occupancy, obtain a certificate of occupancy issued by the local 19
or regional governmental unit with authority to issue certificates of occupancy.
(d) Conduct criminal background investigations of its employees and exclude 22
from employment any person not permitted to hold a teaching license as the result 23
of an offense and any person who might reasonably be believed to pose a threat to the 24
safety of others.
(e) Annually submit to the department a school financial information report, 2
prepared by a certified public accountant, that complies with uniform financial 3
accounting standards established by the department by rule. The report shall be 4
accompanied by an auditor's statement that the report is free of material 5
misstatements and fairly represents pupil costs. The report shall be limited in scope 6
to those records that are necessary for the department to make payments to the 7
(f) If the private school expects to receive at least $50,000 in scholarships under 9
this section during a school year, do one of the following before the beginning of the 10
1. File with the department a surety bond payable to the state in an amount 12
equal to the total amount of scholarships expected to be received by the private school 13
during the school year under this section.
2. File with the department financial information demonstrating that the 15
private school has the ability to pay an amount equal to the total amount of 16
scholarships expected to be received by the private school during the school year 17
under this section.
(g) Provide to each applicant under sub. (1m) (e) a profile of the private school's 19
special education program, in a form prescribed by the department, that includes the 20
methods of instruction that will be used by the school to provide special education 21
and related services to the child and the qualifications of the teachers and other 22
persons who will be providing special education and related services to the child.
(h) 1. Implement the child's most recent individualized education program or 24
services plan, as modified by agreement between the private school and the child's 25
parent, and related services agreed to by the private school and the child's parent
that are not included in the child's individualized education program or services 2