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Rules hearing scheduled Feb. 18 for Special Needs Scholarship Program

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Tom McCarthy, DPI Communications Director, (608) 266-3559

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will conduct a hearing on Feb. 18 in Madison to accept public testimony on proposed permanent rules related to the Special Needs Scholarship Program, which allows students with disabilities to receive a scholarship to attend a participating private school. Information on emergency rules related to the program will be forthcoming.

The hearing on proposed permanent rules for Chapter PI 49 will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the department’s headquarters in GEF 3, Room P41, 125 South Webster Street, Madison. For those who cannot attend the hearing, written comments sent to the department will be given the same consideration as public testimony.

The 2015‑17 state budget bill (2015 Wisconsin Act 55) created the Special Needs Scholarship Program to begin in the 2016-17 school year and required the department to promulgate administrative rules for implementation and administration of the program. The proposed rules address eligibility and participation of schools. Additionally, the proposed rules will specify requirements related to the calculation and distribution of state aid paid for special needs scholarships, the application and approval procedures for students, and other administrative requirements.

Because the Legislature is considering additional changes to the Special Needs Scholarship Program, emergency rules that respond to legislative changes may be developed. An additional hearing will be conducted on the emergency rules. Changes to program implementation and administration that result from new legislation also will be incorporated into the permanent rules.

The hearing site is fully accessible to people with disabilities. Those who cannot attend the public hearing may provide written comments. Send comments on the proposed rules via U.S. mail or e‑mail to the addresses below no later than March 3.

A copy of the proposed permanent rules as well as the fiscal estimate are available at Copies of these materials can be requested and written comments submitted by sending an e-mail to or by writing to Carl Bryan, budget and policy analyst and administrative rules coordinator, DPI, 125 South Webster Street, P.O. Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707‑7841. 

Official Release