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The scope statement for this rule, SS 081-15, was published in Register No. 716B, on August 31, 2015, and approved by State Superintendent Tony Evers on September 15, 2015. Pursuant to Coyne v. Walker, the Department of Public Instruction is not required to obtain the Governor’s approval for the statement of scope for this rule. Coyne v. Walker, 2016 WI 38.
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction hereby proposes to create PI 49, relating to the Special Needs Scholarship Program.
Statute interpreted: s. 115.7915, Stats.
Statutory authority: ss. 115.7915 (10) and 227.11 (2) (a), Stats.
Explanation of agency authority:
Under s. 227.11 (2) (a), Stats., the DPI “may promulgate rules interpreting the provisions of any statute enforced or administered” by the DPI. Under s. 115.7915 (10), Stats., the department is required to promulgate rules to implement and administer the Special Needs Scholarship program, including rules relating to: (a) eligibility and participation of eligible schools, including timelines that maximize child and school participation; (b) calculation and distribution of scholarships; and (c) application and approval procedures for pupils and eligible schools.
Related statute or rule: ss. 118.60 and 119.23, Stats., and ch. PI 35 and ch. PI 48.
Plain language analysis:
2015 Wisconsin Act 55 created the Special Needs Scholarship Program. The effective date of the program is the 2016-17 school year. Section 115.7915 (10), Stats., requires the department to promulgate administrative rules related to pupil and school application processes. Additional changes to s. 115.7915, Stats., were made by 2015 Wisconsin Act 289 and 2015 Wisconsin Act 297, including requiring schools accept applications in the order they are received, allowing an applicant to apply for the program at any time, and expanding the list of private school accreditation entities. This proposed rule creates procedures for administering the special needs scholarship program, including procedures related to the eligibility and participation of schools, the calculation and distribution of state aid paid for special needs scholarships, and the application procedures for pupils and private schools.
The proposed rule refers to s. PI 35.06 (6) and ch. PI 48, provisions that are created in separate rule-making orders currently under promulgation. Draft materials of s. PI 35.06 (6) may be accessed at: Draft materials of ch. PI 48 may be accessed at:
Summary of, and comparison with, existing or proposed federal regulations: N/A
Comparison with rules in adjacent states: N/A
Summary of factual data and analytical methodologies:
The proposed rule is needed to implement the Special Needs Scholarship Program provided under s. 115.7915, Stats., that was created by the 2015-17 budget, 2015 Wisconsin Act 55.
Analysis and supporting documents used to determine effect on small business or in preparation of economic impact report: N/A
Anticipated costs incurred by private sector: N/A
Effect on small business:
The proposed rules will have no significant economic impact on small businesses, as defined in s. 227.114 (1) (a), Stats.
Agency contact person: (including email and telephone)
Carl Bryan
Budget and Policy Analyst
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
(608) 267-9127
Place where comments are to be submitted and deadline for submission:
Comments should be submitted to Carl Bryan, Department of Public Instruction, 125 S. Webster Street, P.O. Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707-7841 or at The Department will publish a hearing notice in the Administrative Register which will provide information on the deadline for the submission of comments.
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.