MADISON — The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has posted a list of the 84 schools that have registered to participate in the Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP) for the 2018-19 school year. The list includes 56 schools that will be new to the program. The application period begins July 1.
Created as part of 2015 Act 55 (the 2015-17 biennial budget), the Special Needs Scholarship Program allows a child with a disability, who meets eligibility requirements, to receive a scholarship to attend a participating private school chosen by the child’s parents or guardians. To be eligible for a scholarship, the child must have an individualized education program (IEP) or services plan that meets program requirements. Parents and guardians of students new to the Special Needs Scholarship Program may apply for scholarships beginning July 1 and throughout the course of the school year. Eligible students who are already participating in the program will not have to reapply to be eligible for a scholarship.
Each school that registered to participate in the program for next year provided the DPI with a “Special Education Profile” that describes the methods of instruction and qualifications of those who will provide special education and related services to Special Needs Scholarship Program students. Those profiles are available online on the Special Needs Scholarship Program: 2018-19 Student Applications website. The list of participating schools for 2018-19 on that website may change based on schools’ compliance with remaining program requirements.
For the 2018-19 school year, participating private schools will receive $12,424 per full-time equivalent student for full-scholarship students. Returning SNSP students who no longer have a disability may receive a partial scholarship, which is equal to the aid paid for the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program. For the 2018‑19 school year, the partial scholarship amount is $7,747 for kindergarten through eighth-grade students and $8,393 for ninth- through 12th-grade students. The DPI pays the scholarship to the private school in four installments from general aid withheld from each scholarship student’s resident school district or from other state aid the resident school district receives if general aid is insufficient to pay the Special Needs Scholarship Program amount.