- Specify what is required for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or services plan to be in effect.
- Specify when the school must send the following emails:
-The email to the local education agency that developed the IEP or services plan verifying that the student had an IEP or services plan that was in effect; and
-If the resident school district did not develop the IEP or services plan, to the pupil’s resident school district notifying them that the pupil will receive a scholarship if the verification above determines the pupil is eligible for the program.
- Remove the pupil eligibility requirements related to open enrollment denials since the requirement for an open enrollment denial was removed from s. 115.7915, Stats.
- Clarify the pupil eligibility requirements for transfer pupils and how transfer requests may be corrected if errors are identified by the auditor.
- Clarify that if a pupil who no longer has a disability attends a different school, the pupil is not eligible for a special needs scholarship program scholarship.
- Modify the dates by which applications and transfer requests must be submitted to the department.
- Specify that the school must identify pupils no longer eligible for a scholarship in the preliminary enrollment report and pupil count reports.
- Remove the requirement to use original classroom records when completing the enrollment audit.
- Specify the requirements for a school to receive a special needs scholarship program summer school payment and the audit requirements of the summer school report.
- Specify that a pupil may attend a different school for summer school and still be eligible for a special needs scholarship program scholarship.
- Clarify the requirements for including fixed assets in the financial audit.
- Specify what is considered a management letter.
- Clarify what expenses are primarily related to special needs scholarship program pupils and how they impact the general expenses requirements.
- Clarify the school’s responsibility for the financial requirements.
- Specify that the identification of special needs scholarship program pupils may be in a different report than the official attendance records, if the official attendance records are from the student information system.
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:
2015 Wisconsin Act 55, the 2015-17 biennial budget, created the special needs scholarship program. The Department promulgated administrative rules, CR 16-005, relating to the special needs scholarship program; and CR 16-066, relating to revisions to the special needs scholarship program; both of which are currently in effect. Since then, 2017 Wisconsin Act 36 and 2017 Wisconsin Act 59, the 2017-19 biennial budget, made several changes relating to the administration of this program. As a result of recent changes in statute and items identified since the rules were implemented, modifications to PI 49 are needed to better assist participating schools and the Department in the administration of the program. Without a rule change, statute and rule will not be consistent and the Department may be prevented from efficiently administering the program.
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)
Budget and Policy Analyst
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
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 email@example.com. The Department will publish a hearing notice in the Administrative Register which will provide information on the deadline for the submission of comments.
SECTION 1. PI 49.01 is amended to read:
PI 49.01 Purpose. Any qualified pupil in grades kindergarten to 12 who meets the requirements under s. 115.7915, Stats., may attend any school participating in the special needs scholarship program under s. 115.7915, Stats. This chapter establishes eligibility and participation requirements for schools participating in the special needs scholarship program under s. 115.7915, Stats., the calculation and distribution of scholarships under s. 115.7915 (4m) and (4p), Stats., and the application and approval procedures for pupils and eligible schools under s. 115.7915, Stats.
SECTION 2. PI 49.02 (3) is repealed.
SECTION 3. PI 49.02 (5m) and (7) are amended to read:
PI 49.02 (5m) “Designee" means an individual who is designated to assist in processing pupil applications and transfer requests by the special needs scholarship program administrator on a form provided by the department.
(7) “Financial audit” means the modified financial audit of a schoolor standard financial audit, and includes the audit opinion and supplemental schedule, required under s. 115.7915 (6) (e), Stats., including the audit opinionPI 49.09.
SECTION 4. PI 49.02 (9p) is created to read:
PI 49.02 (9p) “Modified financial audit” means the audit required under s. 115.7915 (6) (e), Stats., for a school that received less than $100,000 under ss. 115.7915, 118.60, and 119.23, Stats., in any school year.
SECTION 5. PI 49.02 (15) is amended to read:
PI 49.02 (15) “Scholarship” means a payment under s. 115.7915 (4m) or (4p), Stats.
SECTION 6. PI 49.02 (19m) is created to read:
PI 49.02 (19m) “Standard financial audit” means the audit required under s. 115.7915 (6) (e), Stats., for a school that annually received a total of at least $100,000 under ss. 115.7915, 118.60, and 119.23, Stats., in any school year.
SECTION 7. PI 49.03 (3) (bm) is created to read:
PI 49.03 (3) (bm) The expected number of special needs scholarship program pupils that will participate in summer school under s. PI 49.16.
SECTION 8. PI 49.03 (4) is repealed and recreated to read:
PI 49.03 (4) Background checks. (a) A school shall conduct a criminal background check prior to employing any individual at the school and every 5 years thereafter.
(b) A school shall conduct a criminal background check for all individuals defined as employees under s. 108.02 (12), Stats., who are directly or indirectly related to educational programming provided under s. 115.7915, Stats., and this chapter.
(c) A school may not employ any of the following individuals:
1. Individuals who have engaged in immoral conduct as defined under s. 115.31 (1) (c), Stats. 2. Individuals who are not eligible for a teaching license under s. 118.19 (4), Stats.
SECTION 9. PI 49.03 (5) (a) (intro.) and (6) are amended to read:
PI 49.03 (5) (a) By the first weekday in May 1 prior to the first year a school participates in the special needs scholarship program, the school shall submit one of the following documents to the department for all locations of the school:
(6) Accreditation requirements. A school participating in the special needs scholarship program shall be accredited by an accrediting agency under s. 115.7915 (2) (c), Stats., for all of the grades the school makes available to special needs scholarship program pupils. Annually by August 1, a school participating in the special needs scholarship program shall provide to the department a letternotice from the school's accrediting agency under s. 115.7915 (2) (c), Stats., stating that the school is accredited as of the date of the letternotice. The letternotice shall meet all of the following requirements:
(a) The letternotice shall include the following information:
1. The school's name.
2. The school's address for each location included in the accreditation.