You are here

High Cost Special Education Aid

Update on High Cost Special Education Aid

The high cost special education statement of scope on an emergency and proposed permanent rule to amend Chapter PI 30 has been vetted through the August 23rd hearing. The next step in this process is drafting the new permanent rule. Once a new rule is drafted and approved, the high cost special education application can be updated accordingly. Please continue to check our SFS Newsletter for updates.

More information about the scope statement in general and the vetting process is available at:


DPI combines state and federal funds to provide additional support for school districts and other eligible LEAs serving students with disabilities whose needs are particularly significant and costly. Agencies apply for partial reimbursement of costs for individual students in the prior year.

This program provides additional special education aid to Wisconsin school districts, independent (2r/2x) charter schools, CESAs or CCDEBs. An LEA is eligible for aid when a student with disabilities has actual, additional, non-administrative costs of special education and related services in excess of $30,000, after certain reimbursements are excluded. High Cost Special Education Aid is administered under s. 115.881, Wis. Stats., and PI 30, Wis. Admin. Code. By law, an LEA cannot receive both High Cost Special Education Aid and Supplemental Special Education Aid.

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs are defined in the program guidance document.


Aid under this program combines a sum-certain appropriation in the state's biennial budget with additional federal funds set aside by DPI from its IDEA allocation. The average reimbursement rate in FY2018 for LEAs was 96 percent of each student's cost above $30,000.

Payment Details

Payment is made on the third Monday in June. Depending upon whether a payment includes state or federal funds, revenue is coded to Fund 27 with either source 625 (state) or source 711 (federal).

NEW: 2017 Wisconsin Act 59 (signed into law on September 21, 2017)

Modifies law such that school districts will qualify for reimbursement of 90 percent (rather than 70 percent) of eligible prior year costs above the high-cost aid threshold (~$30,000 for an individual child), first effective with aid paid in the 2017-18 school year. Increase funding ($739,000 GPR in FY18 and $853,800 GPR in FY19) in order to avoid proration of aid, based on projected eligibility under the program.

Annual Claims

2019-20 Claims for 2018-19 Students

Please read the latest information regarding the High Cost Special Education Rule & Claims update at the following website -

Watch future School Finance Bulletins to follow the rule process and find out when details are available about the interim High Cost Special Education claim form.

2018-19 Claims for 2017-18 Students

Payments have been finalized. This year the state categorical aid appropriation was sufficient to reimburse claims for local costs over $30,000 at 80 percent. State aid is coded to source 625. IDEA funds were distributed based on the remaining eligible (non SBS) costs over $30,000 and is coded to source 711. Please see the payment file 2018-19 for amounts by LEA and payment source.

Payment History

Quick Links

Program Guidance

Defines the costs eligible to be requested for reimbursement in a claim and provides additional detail on the program.

Estimate Worksheet

An Excel workbook that allows the user to estimate the amount of aid it may expect to receive. Claims are not submitted with this worksheet. An estimate made with this worksheet is based upon the user's assumptions and is not a funding guarantee.

Special Education Web Portal

Claims are submitted through the Special Education team's web portal.

High Cost Special Education Aid Tutorial (18:12)

A video walk-through of the process to submit a claim.

For questions about this information, contact Roselynn Bittorf (608) 267-9212