MADISON — The Department of Public Instruction announced the 37 school districts that will receive funding through a competitive grant program dedicated to aiding students with disabilities plan for life after high school.
The Transition Readiness Grant Program, created by the passage of the 2017 state budget, will disburse $1.5 million during the 2019 fiscal year for the expansion and development of services that assist students with disabilities in transitioning from school to the workforce. In total, the 37 districts requested nearly $3 million for the 17,125 students with disabilities they serve.
Adapted from Wisconsin’s Let’s Get to Work grant project, this program represents a partnership among DPI and advocacy organizations in the state. For students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a defined transition plan is a critical indicator within the Wisconsin State Performance Plan — a plan focused on ensuring children with disabilities succeed in school and adjust to life after graduation.
“This program is an important step in improving and expanding services for our students with disabilities,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “It is particularly critical to ensuring that every student in Wisconsin graduates from high school with the necessary skills and supports to succeed in the workforce and in further education.”
Priority was given to grant applicants that cited services proven to increase the likelihood of post-school employment. Funding requests for Project SEARCH — an evidence-based transition program that secures a variety of internships for students with developmental disabilities — were considered priorities and commonly cited by approved districts. All funded applicants must follow a set of general requirements that relate to the longer-term development and refinement of integrated, community-based transition processes.
Additionally, many districts requested funding for transportation, tuition to colleges and technical schools, activities to build connections with local employers, and for educators to obtain a certification in the area of transition services.
NOTE: A list of districts that will receive funding through the Transition Readiness Grant Program can be found in the official news release.