Schools participating in the Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP) receive a state aid payment for each eligible student on behalf of the student's parent or guardian.
A summary of common questions and items that have changed for schools participating in the Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP) as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak is below. Unless otherwise noted, there have not been changes to the SNSP requirements at this time. Please see the updated Important SNSP Dates for May 2020 to June 2021 document for a detailed listing of all SNSP requirements.
Pursuant to the authority granted the department in 2019 Wisconsin Act 185, the DPI has waived the following requirements for SNSP schools for the 2019-20 school year and changed the following due dates. The memos submitted to the Legislative Reference Bureau listing all of the waivers and due date changes made by DPI for the SNSP are available on the Statutes and Rules webpage.
2019-20 Requirements Being Waived for the SNSP
- Hours of Instruction: The DPI has waived the hours of instruction requirement for the 2019-20 school year for schools that participated in the Choice program or SNSP in the 2019-20 school year. Schools that are not participating in the Choice program or SNSP in the 2019-20 school year that are not be able to provide at least 875 hours of pupil instruction during the 2019-20 school year must complete the hours of instruction waiver form, available under Waivers - Private School.
- K4 Outreach: For any schools that included 4-year-old kindergarten pupils in the 0.6 full−time equivalent category on the 2nd Friday in January 2020 Pupil Report, the DPI has waived the requirement that the school provide at least 87.5 hours of 4−year−old kindergarten outreach activities for the 2019-20 school year. The DPI has also waived the requirement that the auditor determine whether the K4 outreach requirement was met as part of the January Enrollment Audit for these schools.
- DPI Approval for Ending School Term Early: The DPI has waived the requirement to receive prior DPI approval if the school will end the 2019-20 school year at an earlier date than originally scheduled.
- Paycheck Protection Program-Choice/SNSP Reserve Balance Impacts (UPDATED): The department has waived the 2019-20 requirement to include the forgiven portion of the Paycheck Protection Program loan that was used for educational programming purposes as offsetting government assistance revenue in the Choice Programs and SNSP Reserve Balance Schedules. The department does not have waiver authority for the 2020-21 school year, so the department will begin policy discussions as soon as we are able on amending the applicable administrative rules for the 2020-21 school year.
Due Date Changes for the SNSP
- Certificate of Occupancy, Letter, or Form: The DPI has changed the due date for the certificate of occupancy, letter or form required under s. PI 49.03 (5) (a), for schools that are new to the SNSP in the 2020-21 school year, from May 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020.
- January 2020 Enrollment Audit: The DPI has changed the due date for the 2019-20 second Friday in January enrollment audit from May 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. For additional information on submission of the report, please see the January Enrollment Audit webpage.
- Summer School Course List Report: The DPI has changed the due date for the summer school course list report under s. PI 49.16 (2) from May 1, 2020 to the later of the following:
- June 1, 2020.
- Five (5) days before the first day summer school classes will be offered during the summer of 2020 by the private school providing the summer school.
The link for the summer school course list report is emailed directly to schools that indicate they will offer summer school for SNSP students during the summer of 2020. If your school has decided to add summer school for SNSP students, the SNSP administrator must email email@example.com and request that the form be emailed to them. Schools should review the Summer School Bulletin available at https://dpi.wi.gov/sms/special-needs-scholarship/bulletins. Schools should note that only students that participated in the SNSP on one of the 2019-20 count dates are eligible for a SNSP summer school payment.
This Summer School 2020 document is intended to help schools understand SNSP laws regarding summer school offered for the summer of 2020.
Other COVID-19 Related Information
Inclusion of COVID-19 Related Expenses as Eligible Education Expenses
COVID-19 related expenses may be included as eligible education expenses if they meet the requirements in Wis. Stats. 115.7915, 118.60, and 119.23 and Wis. Admin. Code PI 35, 48, and 49, respectively. The requirements are explained in the Financial Audit related bulletins at https://dpi.wi.gov/sms/choice-programs/bulletins and https://dpi.wi.gov/sms/special-needs-scholarship. As long as expenses related to the COVID-19 outbreak meet the eligible education expenses requirements, they can be included as an eligible education expense.
Virtual Learning/Online Learning
Schools that participate in the SNSP may use virtual instruction, which counts towards the schools required Hours of Instruction. Virtual Learning/Online Learning resources are available on the DPI’s COVID-19 webpage under the Instructional Areas section.
Per Wis. Stats. §115.7915 (4m) (b) the DPI will process the May state aid payments to eligible SNSP schools by direct deposit (ACH) by the end of May, based on each school’s 2nd Friday January 2020 Pupil Count Report.
See the “Assessments” section under “Instructional Areas” on the DPI’s COVID-19 webpage for information.
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
See the “3/20/20 – COVID-19 Updates” under “District Administrator Emails From Mike Thompson” on the DPI’s COVID-19 webpage for information.
If you have questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free 1-888-245-2732 ext. 4.