Special Needs

The Special Needs Scholarship now allows eligible parents the opportunity to send their children with special needs to the public or private school of their choice.

In short, we believe that parents of special needs children should be the sole deciders in where their children go to school.

Meet the families of the special needs scholarship.

Program Type
Voucher – Special needs

Student Eligibility
Student must:
– Have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or services plan in affect and was enrolled in a Wisconsin public school for the entire 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 U.S.C. §200d
• 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 a 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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