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Choice Program Payments - Frequently Asked Questions

The information on this webpage is for private schools participating in the Private School Choice Programs (Choice or Choice Program). The Choice Program includes the:

  • Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP),

  • Racine Parental Choice Program (RPCP), and
  • Wisconsin Parental Choice Program or statewide program (WPCP).

If you are a school district looking for fiscal information about the Private School Choice Programs, please see the Private School Vouchers Fiscal Information webpage. The Department is unable to provide school districts information on what specific students are participating in the Private School Choice Programs.

If you are a parent or guardian looking for information about state aid, fees, or tuition, please see the State Aid, Fees, and Tuition section of the Private School Choice Programs: Frequently Asked Questions for Parents webpage.

The information in this FAQ is based on Wis. Stats. §§118.60 and 119.23 and Wis. Admin. Code PI 35 and PI 48.



1. What are the Choice payment amounts for the 2021-22 school year and the estimated Choice payment amounts for the 2022-23 school year?

 
See Training 9-1 on the On Demand Training webpage for information on which Full Time Equivalent (FTE) is applicable for a student.
 
Grade Category 2021-22 School Year
Annual Payment Amount
If the student is eligible for both count dates
ESTIMATED
2022-23 School Year
Annual Payment Amount
If the student is eligible for both count dates

4-year-old kindergarten (0.5 FTE)

K4 without 87.5 hours Parental Outreach

$4,168.00

$4,199.50

4-year-old kindergarten (0.6 FTE)

K4 with 87.5 hours Parental Outreach

$5,001.60

$5,039.40

5-year-old kindergarten (0.5 FTE)

Less than full-time but at least 437 hours a school year

$4,168.00

$4,199.50

5-year-old kindergarten (0.6 FTE)

3 full days of instruction each week

$5,001.60

$5,039.40

5-year-old kindergarten (0.8 FTE)

4 full days of instruction each week

$6,668.80

$6,719.20

5-year-old kindergarten (1.0 FTE)

5 full days of instruction each week

$8,336.00

$8,399.00

Grades 1-8 (1.0 FTE)

$8,336.00

$8,399.00

Grades 9-12 (1.0 FTE)

$8,982.00

$9,045.00


2. What are Choice payments based upon?

Payments are made based on membership (count) reports and enrollment audits. The three membership reports are the Preliminary Enrollment Report (due by the last weekday in August), the Third Friday in September Count Report (due by the last weekday in September), and the Second Friday in January Count Report (due by the last weekday in January). Schools that provide Choice summer school must also submit a Summer School Count Report (due by September 15).

The initial payments to schools are made based on unaudited information. Schools are then required to have an external auditor complete an Enrollment Audit to determine if the school received the correct amount. After reviewing the Enrollment Audits, the DPI issues certification letters to the schools indicating the results of the review and if any amount is owed to or from the school.

If the DPI owes the school money, the DPI will pay the amount owed via electronic funds transfer within 60 days of the date of the certification letter. If the certification letter requires that the school repay the DPI, the DPI will generally net the amount owed with a future Choice payment if the school is currently eligible for Choice payments.

3.  When are Choice school year payments made and how are they calculated?

For information about Choice summer school payments, please see FAQ #4.

Payments are made via electronic funds transfers quarterly to eligible schools by the end of the following months: September, November, February, and May.

The payments for September and November are ultimately based on the number of pupils that met the attendance requirements as of the Third Friday in September multiplied by 25% of the annual FTE. The February and May payments are based on the number of pupils that met the attendance requirements for the Second Friday in January multiplied by 25% of the annual FTE.

The November state aid payment is a “true-up” payment calculated based on the number of students on the Third Friday September Count Report multiplied by 50% of the annual FTE amount less the payment received in September.

If there are students counted on the Preliminary Enrollment Report that do not meet the Third Friday September Count Report requirements, the amount of the September payment for those students will be deducted from the November payment. If there are students that were not included on the Preliminary Enrollment Report that meet the Third Friday September Count Report requirements, the school will receive a double payment (50% of the annual FTE amount) for the student in November.

The initial payments to schools are made based on unaudited information. Schools are then required to have an external auditor complete an Enrollment Audit to determine if the school received the correct amount. After reviewing the Enrollment Audits, the DPI issues certification letters to the schools indicating the results of the review and if any amount is owed to or from the school.

If the DPI owes the school money, the DPI will pay the amount owed via electronic funds transfer within 60 days of the date of the certification letter. If the certification letter requires that the school repay the DPI, the DPI will generally net the amount owed with a future Choice payment if the school is currently eligible for Choice payments.

4.  What are summer school payments based upon and when are they made?

Choice schools seeking a Choice state aid payment for eligible summer school instruction must submit the Summer School Count Report in OAS providing the list of Choice students who attended summer school at the school. Schools that participate in multiple Choice programs (MPCP, RPCP, and/or WPCP), must submit a Summer School Count Report for each Choice program in OAS even if the school did not have students from a particular program participating in summer school.

Summer school courses funded through Federal Title programs are not eligible for payment through the Choice summer school program.

The DPI will process the summer school payments for eligible schools that offered Choice summer school based on the Summer School Count Report (due by September 15) submitted to the DPI in OAS by the end of November.

The per aid student state aid amount for each eligible student that attends the Choice summer school program 15 or more days is 5% of the maximum per student state aid amount from the prior year for the grade in which the pupil is attending summer school. The per aid student state aid amount for each eligible student that attends the Choice summer school program less than 15 days is prorated based on the number of days the student attends the Choice summer school program.

The Summer School Bulletin, available on the Program Bulletins webpage, provides additional information.

5.  How does the school see payment amounts received?

The Online Application System (OAS) includes a listing of all students that received a payment during the school year and/or for the summer. To view the school year listing, a Choice administrator or designee must log into the OAS and select "Payments" under "Pupil Count" on the left menu bar. From the “Payments” page in OAS, Choice administrators and designees can also export the data to Excel to view the headcount and FTE by student for each count date.

To view the summer school listing, a Choice administrator or designee must log into the OAS and select "Summer Sch Count" under "Other Reports" on the left menu bar. The payments are on “Step 6 of 7: Review Class List” page of the report.

School can use the Aids Register to see a history of payment information. Access this by clicking on “Aids Register” located on the Private School Choice Programs webpage on the left menu bar. Enter “2021” for fiscal year for payments for the 2020-21 school year or “2022” for the 2021-22 school year. Enter the school’s legal entity name, click on the agency number box, and then the system automatically fills the agency number. 

The school can find more information about using the Aids Register in the STAR Aids Register section of the Aids Register Information webpage.

6.  How can a private school change its banking information?

The banking information is updated in the Aids Banking System. The Authorized Representative for the Aids Banking System will need to log in and change the school’s existing information. The same bank account must be used for all payments received from the Department, including Private School Choice Program payments, Special Needs Scholarship Program payments and USDA food program payments. If a school has questions on this process, the school should contact Jacque Jordee at Jacque.jordee@dpi.wi.gov.

7. Where can I find additional information about payments?

Additional information is available at On Demand Training in Training 9-1: Payment Process, Pupil Count Report & Audit Overview and Training 9-3: 3rd Friday in September & 2nd Friday in January Count Reports. The “Timing of Choice Payments” section of the Application Process Bulletin, which is available at School Application Processing, is another resource for schools.