School Choice Programs

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

Student eligibility

  • Student must live in the Milwaukee Public School District
  • Family income below 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($72,840 for a family of four in 2015-16), with an additional $7,000 allowed for households with married parents
  • Private school students are also eligible

School requirements

  • Meet state nondiscrimination policies
  • Meet state health and safety codes
  • Allow students to opt out of religious programs
  • Administer to scholarship recipients the Wisconsin Forward exam for: science in grades 4 and 8; social studies in grades 4, 8, and 10; and English Language Arts and Math in grades 3-8
  • Administer to scholarship recipients in high school: the ACT suite of assessments; and beginning in the 2016-17 school year, a civics test comprised of the same 100 questions that may be asked of an individual during the process of applying for US citizenship by the Unite States Citizenship and Immigration Services (scholarship students must correctly answer at least 60 of those questions to receive a high school diploma)
  • Receive accreditation within three years of participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program; Current participating schools adding grades or creating a new school are exempt
  • Submit to the state an annual financial audit conducted by a certified public accountant
  • Admit eligible students on a random basis
  • Provide the state with evidence of sound fiscal practices and financial viability to the state
  • Require school administrators to undergo financial training and to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education
  • Require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and teacher aides to have a high school diploma or a GED or HSED
  • Provide 1,050 hours of dirt pupil instruction in grades 1-6 and 1,137 hours of direct pupil instruction in grades 7-12
  • Provide the state with information about the academic program at the participating school and student test score data
Racine Parental Choice Program

Student eligibility

  • Student must live in the Racine Unified School District
  • Family income below 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($72,840 for a family of four in 2015-16), with an additional $7,000 allowed for households with married parents
  • Student must be enrolled in public school in the Racine Unified School District the previous school year; be entering school for the first time; or is applying to attend kindergarten, first grade or ninth grade at a participating private school.

School requirements

  • Meet state nondiscrimination policies
  • Meet state health and safety codes
  • Allow students to opt out of religious programs
  • Administer to scholarship recipients the Wisconsin Forward exam for: science in grades 4 and 8; social studies in grades 4, 8, and 10; and English Language Arts and Math in grades 3-8
  • Administer to scholarship recipients in high school: the ACT suite of assessments; and beginning in the 2016-17 school year, a civics test comprised of the same 100 questions that may be asked of an individual during the process of applying for US citizenship by the Unite States Citizenship and Immigration Services (scholarship students must correctly answer at least 60 of those questions to receive a high school diploma)
  • Receive accreditation within three years of participating in the Racine Parental Choice Program
  • Submit to the state an annual financial audit conducted by a certified public accountant
  • Admit eligible students on a random basis
  • Provide the state with evidence of sound fiscal practices and financial viability
  • Require school administrators to undergo financial training and to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education
  • Require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and teacher aides to have a high school diploma or a GED or HSED
  • Provide 1,050 hours of dirt pupil instruction in grades 1-6 and 1,137 hours of direct pupil instruction in grades 7-12
  • Provide the state with information about the academic program at the participating school and student test score data
Wisconsin Parental Choice Program

Student eligibility

  • Student must live in the Racine Unified School District
  • Family income below 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline ($72,840 for a family of four in 2015-16), with an additional $7,000 allowed for households with married parents
  • Student must be enrolled in public school in the Racine Unified School District the previous school year; be entering school for the first time; or is applying to attend kindergarten, first grade or ninth grade at a participating private school.

School requirements

  • Meet state nondiscrimination policies
  • Meet state health and safety codes
  • Allow students to opt out of religious programs
  • Administer to scholarship recipients the Wisconsin Forward exam for: science in grades 4 and 8; social studies in grades 4, 8, and 10; and English Language Arts and Math in grades 3-8
  • Administer to scholarship recipients in high school: the ACT suite of assessments; and beginning in the 2016-17 school year, a civics test comprised of the same 100 questions that may be asked of an individual during the process of applying for US citizenship by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (scholarship students must correctly answer at least 60 of those questions to receive a high school diploma)
  • Receive accreditation within three years of participating in the Racine Parental Choice Program
  • Submit to the state an annual financial audit conducted by a certified public accountant
  • Admit eligible students on a random basis
  • Provide the state with evidence of sound fiscal practices and financial viability
  • Require school administrators to undergo financial training and to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education
  • Require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and teacher aides to have a high school diploma or a GED or HSED
  • Provide 1,050 hours of dirt pupil instruction in grades 1-6 and 1,137 hours of direct pupil instruction in grades 7-12
  • Provide the state with information about the academic program at the participating school and student test score data
Wisconsin Special Needs Scholarship Program

Student eligibility

  • Have an Individualized Education Program or services plan in affect and was enrolled in a Wisconsin public school for the entire year immediately preceding the school year
  • Have applied to attend one or more public schools in nonresident school districts under the state’s open enrollment program in school year 2011-12 forward and have been denied enrollment by the nonresident school districts

School requirements

  • Be approved as a private school by the state superintendent or have received accreditation as of the August 1 preceding the school term for which a scholarship is awarded
  • Admit eligible students on a first come, first served basis
  • Comply with all health and safety laws or codes that apply to private schools
  • Hold a valid certificate of occupancy
  • Comply with the federal nondiscrimination requirements of 42 USC S200d
  • Conduct criminal background checks of employees
  • Submit annually to the state a financial audit conducted by a certified public accountant
  • File a surety bond with the state, if the school receives more than $50,000 in scholarship money, equal to 25 percent of the total amount and provide the state evidence of financial viability
  • Provide each applicant a profile of the school’s special education program, including methods of instruction and the qualifications of the teachers and others who will be providing special education and related services
  • Implement the student’s most recent IEP or services plan, as modified by agreement between the school and the parents
  • Provide record of the implementation of the student’s IEP or services plan, including an evaluation of the child’s progress to the school board in which the student resides
  • Report regularly to parents on the student’s progress
  • Provide 875 hours of instruction each school year

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