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118.51(1)(c) (c) "Nonresident school district" means a school district, other than a pupil's resident school district, that the pupil is attending or has applied to attend under this section.
118.51(1)(d) (d) "Parent" includes a guardian.
118.51(1)(e) (e) "Resident school board" means the school board of a resident school district.
118.51(1)(f) (f) "Resident school district" means the school district in which a pupil resides.
118.51(2) (2)Applicability. A pupil may attend a public school, including a charter school, prekindergarten, 4-year-old kindergarten, or early childhood or school-operated child care program, in a nonresident school district under this section, except that a pupil may attend a prekindergarten, 4-year-old kindergarten, or early childhood or school-operated child care program in a nonresident school district only if the pupil's resident school district offers the same type of program that the pupil wishes to attend and the pupil is eligible to attend that program in his or her resident school district.
118.51(3) (3)Application procedures. Except as provided under sub. (3m), the following procedures govern pupil applications to attend a public school in a nonresident school district under this section:
118.51(3)(a) (a) Submission and acceptance or rejection.
118.51(3)(a)1.1. The parent of a pupil who wishes to attend a public school in a nonresident school district under this section shall submit an application, on a form provided by the department under sub. (15) (a), to the school board of the nonresident school district that the pupil wishes to attend, not earlier than the first Monday in February and not later than the last weekday in April of the school year immediately preceding the school year in which the pupil wishes to attend. Applications may be submitted to no more than 3 nonresident school boards in any school year. The nonresident school board shall send a copy of the application to the pupil's resident school board and the department by the end of the first weekday following the last weekday in April. The application may include a request to attend a specific school or program offered by the nonresident school district.
118.51(3)(a)1m. 1m. By the first Friday following the first Monday in May, the resident school board shall send to the nonresident school district a copy of the individualized education program developed under s. 115.787 (2) for a child with a disability whose parent submitted an application under subd. 1.
118.51(3)(a)2. 2. A nonresident school board may not act on any application received under subd. 1. before May 1. If a nonresident school board receives more applications for a particular grade or program than there are spaces available in the grade or program, the nonresident school board shall determine which pupils to accept, including pupils accepted from a waiting list under sub. (5) (d), on a random basis, after giving preference to pupils and to siblings of pupils who are already attending the nonresident school district and, if the nonresident school district is a union high school district, to pupils who are attending an underlying elementary school district of the nonresident school district under this section. If a nonresident school board determines that space is not otherwise available for open enrollment pupils in the grade or program to which an individual has applied, the school board may nevertheless accept a pupil or the sibling of a pupil who is already attending the nonresident school district and, if the nonresident school district is a union high school district, a pupil who is attending an underlying elementary school district of the nonresident school district under this section.
118.51(3)(a)3. 3. Except as provided under sub. (5) (d) 1., on or before the first Friday following the first Monday in June following receipt of the application, the nonresident school board shall notify the applicant, in writing, whether it has accepted the application. If the nonresident school board has accepted the applicant, the school board shall identify the specific school or program that the applicant may attend in the following school year. If the nonresident school board rejects an application, it shall include in the notice the reason for the rejection.
118.51(3)(a)4. 4. On or before the 2nd Friday following the first Monday in June following receipt of a copy of the application, if a resident school board denies a pupil's enrollment in a nonresident school district under sub. (6), (7) or (12) (b) 1., the resident school board shall notify the applicant and the nonresident school board, in writing, that the application has been denied and include in the notice the reason for the denial.
118.51(3)(a)6. 6. Except as provided in sub. (5) (d) 2., if an application is accepted, on or before the last Friday in June following receipt of a notice of acceptance, or within 10 days of receiving a notice of acceptance if a pupil is selected from a waiting list under sub. (5) (d), the pupil's parent shall notify the nonresident school board of the pupil's intent to attend school in that school district in the following school year.
118.51(3)(b) (b) Notice to resident school district. Annually by July 7, each nonresident school board that has accepted a pupil under this section for attendance in the following school year shall report the name of the pupil to the pupil's resident school board.
118.51(3)(c) (c) Subsequent reapplication; when required.
118.51(3)(c)1.1. If a pupil's parent notifies a nonresident school board, under par. (a) 6., that the pupil intends to attend school in that school district in the following school year, the pupil may attend that school district in the following school year and may continue to attend that school district in succeeding school years without reapplying, except that the nonresident school board may require that the pupil reapply, no more than once, when the pupil enters middle school, junior high school or high school.
118.51(3)(c)2. 2. If at any time a pupil who is attending school in a nonresident school district under this section wishes to attend school in a different nonresident school district under this section, the pupil's parent shall follow the application procedures under par. (a).
118.51(3m) (3m)Alternative application procedures under certain circumstances.
118.51(3m)(a)(a) Notwithstanding sub. (3), the parent of a pupil who wishes to attend a public school in a nonresident school district under this section may, in lieu of applying under sub. (3), submit an application under this subsection, on a form provided by the department under sub. (15) (a), to the school board of the nonresident school district that the pupil wants to attend if the pupil satisfies at least one of the criteria under par. (b). Applications may be submitted to no more than 3 nonresident school boards in any school year.
118.51(3m)(b) (b) The parent of a pupil may apply under this subsection only if the pupil meets one of the following criteria, and shall describe the criteria that the pupil meets in the application:
118.51(3m)(b)1. 1. The resident school board determines that the pupil has been the victim of a violent criminal offense, as defined by the department by rule. An application made on the basis of this criteria is not valid unless the nonresident school board receives the application within 30 days after the determination of the resident school board.
118.51(3m)(b)2. 2. The pupil is or has been a homeless pupil in the current or immediately preceding school year. In this subdivision, "homeless pupil" means an individual who is included in the category of homeless children and youths, as defined in 42 USC 11434a (2).
118.51(3m)(b)3. 3. The pupil has been the victim of repeated bullying or harassment and all of the following apply:
118.51(3m)(b)3.a. a. The pupil's parent has reported the bullying or harassment to the resident school board.
118.51(3m)(b)3.b. b. Despite action taken under subd. 3. a., the repeated bullying and harassment continues.
118.51(3m)(b)4. 4. The place of residence of the pupil's parent or guardian and of the pupil has changed as a result of military orders. An application made on the basis of this criteria is not valid unless the nonresident school board receives the application no later than 30 days after the date on which the military orders changing the place of residence were issued.
118.51(3m)(b)5. 5. The pupil moved into this state. An application made on the basis of this criteria is not valid unless the nonresident school board receives the application no later than 30 days after moving into this state.
118.51(3m)(b)6. 6. The place of residence of the pupil has changed as a result of a court order or custody agreement or because the pupil was placed in a foster home or with a person other than the pupil's parent, or removed from a foster home or from the home of a person other than the pupil's parent. An application made on the basis of this criteria is not valid unless the nonresident school board receives the application no later than 30 days after the pupil's change in residence.
118.51(3m)(b)7. 7. The parent of the pupil, the resident school board, and the nonresident school board agree that attending school in the nonresident school district is in the best interests of the pupil.
118.51(3m)(b)8. 8. The parent of the pupil and the nonresident school board agree that attending school in the nonresident school district is in the best interests of the pupil. If the resident school board notifies the parent of the pupil who applies under this subdivision that the pupil may not attend the nonresident school district, the parent may appeal the resident school district's decision to the department and must explain in the appeal why the pupil applied to attend school in the nonresident school district. The resident school district must respond to the appeal and provide an explanation for rejecting the pupil's transfer into the nonresident school district. If the department determines that the resident school district's decision to deny the pupil's transfer into the nonresident school district is not in the best interests of the pupil, the department shall notify the resident and nonresident school districts and the pupil's parent that the pupil may attend the nonresident school district. The department's determination under this subdivision is final.
118.51(3m)(c) (c) If a nonresident school board receives an application under par. (a), the nonresident school board shall immediately forward a copy of the application to the resident school board, and shall notify the applicant, in writing, whether it has accepted the application no later than 20 days after receiving the application. If the nonresident school board has accepted the application, the nonresident school board shall identify the specific school or program that the pupil may attend.
118.51(3m)(d) (d) A resident school district may notify an applicant under par. (a) that the pupil may not attend a school or program in the nonresident school district only for the following reasons:
118.51(3m)(d)1. 1. The resident school district determines that the criteria relied on by the applicant under par. (b) does not apply to the pupil.
118.51(3m)(d)2.a.a. Except as provided in subd. 2. b., the resident school district determines that the costs of the special education or related services required in the individualized education program under s. 115.787 (2) for a child with a disability whose parent has submitted an application under par. (a), as proposed to be implemented by the nonresident school district, would impose upon the child's resident school district an undue financial burden in light of the resident school district's total economic circumstances, including its revenue limit under subch. VII of ch. 121, its ability to pay tuition costs for the pupil, and the per pupil special education or related services costs for children with disabilities continuing to be served by the resident school district.
118.51(3m)(d)2.b. b. Subdivision 2. a. does not apply to a pupil who submits an application under par. (a) if the pupil relied upon the criteria set forth in par. (b) 1.
118.51(3m)(e) (e) If an application is accepted by the nonresident school board under par. (c), the pupil may immediately begin attending the school or program in the nonresident school district and shall begin attending the school or program no later than the 15th day following receipt by the parent of the pupil of the notice of acceptance under par. (c). If the pupil has not enrolled in or attended school in the nonresident school district by the day specified in this paragraph, the nonresident school district may notify the pupil's parent, in writing, that the pupil is no longer authorized to attend the school or program in the nonresident school district.
118.51(4) (4)Adoption of policies and criteria.
118.51(4)(a)(a) By February 1, 1998, each school board shall adopt a resolution specifying all of the following:
118.51(4)(a)1. 1. Its reapplication requirements, if any, under sub. (3) (c) 1.
118.51(4)(a)2. 2. Its acceptance and rejection criteria under sub. (5) (a) and (b).
118.51(4)(a)3. 3. A statement of the preference required under sub. (3) (a) 2.
118.51(4)(a)4. 4. Its transfer limitations, if any, under sub. (6).
118.51(4)(a)5. 5. If the school district is eligible for aid under subch. VI of ch. 121, the limitation on transfers into or out of the school district imposed by the school board under sub. (7).
118.51(4)(a)6. 6. Whether it will provide transportation under s. 121.54 (10) for some or all of the pupils who reside in the school district and attend school in a nonresident school district under this section or for some or all of the pupils who reside in other school districts and attend its schools under this section, and the means, under s. 121.55, by which it will provide such transportation.
118.51(4)(b) (b) If the school board revises its criteria or policies under par. (a), it shall do so by resolution.
118.51(5) (5)Nonresident school district acceptance criteria.
118.51(5)(a)(a) Permissible criteria. Except as provided in sub. (3) (a) 2., the criteria for accepting and rejecting applications from nonresident pupils under subs. (3) (a) and (3m) (a) may include only the following:
118.51(5)(a)1. 1. The availability of space in the schools, programs, classes, or grades within the nonresident school district. The nonresident school board shall determine the number of regular education and special education spaces available within the school district in the January meeting of the school board, except that for the 2011-12 school year the board shall determine the number of regular education and special education spaces available within the school district in the February meeting of the school board. In determining the availability of space, the nonresident school board may consider criteria such as class size limits, pupil-teacher ratios, or enrollment projections established by the nonresident school board and may include in its count of occupied spaces all of the following:
118.51(5)(a)1.a. a. Pupils attending the school district for whom tuition is paid under s. 121.78 (1) (a).
118.51(5)(a)1.b. b. Pupils and siblings of pupils who have applied under sub. (3) (a) or (3m) (a) and are already attending the nonresident school district.
118.51(5)(a)1.c. c. If the nonresident school district is a union high school district, pupils who have applied under sub. (3) (a) or (3m) (a) and are currently attending an underlying elementary school district of the nonresident school district under this section.
118.51(5)(a)2. 2. Whether the pupil has been expelled from school by any school district during the current or 2 preceding school years for any of the following reasons or whether a disciplinary proceeding involving the pupil, which is based on any of the following reasons, is pending:
118.51(5)(a)2.a. a. Conveying or causing to be conveyed any threat or false information concerning an attempt or alleged attempt being made or to be made to destroy any school property by means of explosives.
118.51(5)(a)2.b. b. Engaging in conduct while at school or while under supervision of a school authority that endangered the health, safety or property of others.
118.51(5)(a)2.c. c. Engaging in conduct while not at school or while not under the supervision of a school authority that endangered the health, safety or property of others at school or under the supervision of a school authority or of any employee of the school district or member of the school board.
118.51(5)(a)2.d. d. Possessing a dangerous weapon, as defined in s. 939.22 (10), while at school or while under the supervision of a school authority.
118.51(5)(a)3. 3. Whether the nonresident school board determined that the pupil was habitually truant from the nonresident school district during any semester of attendance at the nonresident school district in the current or previous school year.
118.51(5)(a)4. 4. Whether the special education or related services described in the child's individualized education program under s. 115.787 (2) are available in the nonresident school district or whether there is space available to provide the special education or related services identified in the child's individualized education program, including any class size limits, pupil-teacher ratios or enrollment projections established by the nonresident school board.
118.51(5)(a)6. 6. Whether the child has been referred to his or her resident school board under s. 115.777 (1) or identified by his or her resident school board under s. 115.77 (1m) (a) but not yet evaluated by an individualized education program team appointed by his or her resident school board under s. 115.78 (1).
118.51(5)(b) (b) Rejection after initial acceptance. The criteria under par. (a) may provide that, notwithstanding the nonresident school board's acceptance of an application under sub. (3) (a) 3., at any time prior to the beginning of the school year in which the pupil will first attend school in the school district under this section, the school board may notify the pupil that he or she may not attend school in the school district if the school board determines that any of the criteria under par. (a) 2. are met.
118.51(5)(d) (d) Waiting list.
118.51(5)(d)1.1. The school board of a nonresident school district may create a waiting list of pupils whose applications were rejected under sub. (3) (a) 3. The nonresident school board may accept pupils from a waiting list created under this paragraph until the 3rd Thursday in September but only if the pupil will be in attendance at the school or program in the nonresident school district on the 3rd Friday in September. Notwithstanding sub. (3) (a) 6., if a pupil is accepted from a waiting list created under this paragraph after the start of the school term, the parent shall immediately notify the resident school district of the pupil's intent to attend school in the nonresident school district for the current school term.
118.51(5)(d)2. 2. A pupil accepted from a waiting list created under this paragraph may attend the school or program in the nonresident school district even if the pupil has attended a school or program in the pupil's resident school district in the current school term, but not if the pupil has attended a school or program in a nonresident school district in the current school term.
118.51(5)(d)3. 3. The department shall promulgate rules to implement and administer this paragraph.
118.51(6) (6)Resident school district transfer limitations. A school board may limit the number of its resident pupils attending public school in other school districts under this section in the 1998-99 school year to 3% of its membership. In each of the 7 succeeding school years, a school board may limit the number of its resident pupils attending public school in other school districts to an additional 1% of its membership. If more than the maximum allowable number of resident pupils apply to attend public school in other school districts in any school year under this section, the school board shall determine which pupils will be allowed to attend public school in other school districts on a random basis, except that the school board shall give preference to pupils who are already attending public school in the school district to which they are applying under this section and to siblings of such pupils.
118.51(7) (7)Racial balance.
118.51(7)(a)(a) The school board of a school district that is eligible for aid under subch. VI of ch. 121 shall reject any application for transfer into or out of the school district made under this section if the transfer would increase racial imbalance in the school district. A pupil who transfers out of a school district under subch. VI of ch. 121 shall not be counted in that school district's membership, as defined in s. 121.004 (5), for the purpose of determining the school district's racial balance under this paragraph.
118.51(7)(b) (b) The school board of a school district that receives applications for transfer into the school district under subch. VI of ch. 121 and this section may not accept applications made under this section until it has accepted or rejected all applications made under subch. VI of ch. 121.
118.51(8) (8)Disciplinary records. Notwithstanding s. 118.125, for an application submitted under sub. (3) (a), by the first Friday following the first Monday in May, and within 10 days of receiving a copy of an application under sub. (3m) (c), the resident school board shall provide to the nonresident school board to which a pupil has applied under this section a copy of any expulsion findings and orders pertaining to the pupil, a copy of records of any pending disciplinary proceeding involving the pupil, a written explanation of the reasons for the expulsion or pending disciplinary proceeding and the length of the term of the expulsion or the possible outcomes of the pending disciplinary proceeding.
118.51(9) (9)Appeal of rejection. If the nonresident school board rejects an application under sub. (3) (a) or (7), the resident school board prohibits a pupil from attending public school in a nonresident school district under sub. (3m) (d), (6), (7) or (12) (b) 1., or the nonresident school board prohibits a pupil from attending public school in the nonresident school district under sub. (11), the pupil's parent may appeal the decision to the department within 30 days after the decision. If the nonresident school board provides notice that the special education or related service is not available under sub. (12) (a), the pupil's parent may appeal the required transfer to the department within 30 days after receipt of the notice. If the resident school board provides notice of transfer under sub. (12) (b) 2., the pupil's parent may appeal the required transfer to the department within 30 days after receipt of the notice. The department shall affirm the school board's decision unless the department finds that the decision was arbitrary or unreasonable.
118.51(10) (10)Pupil assignment. A nonresident school board may assign pupils accepted to attend public school in the school district under this section to a school or program within the school district. The school board may give preference in attendance at a school, program, class or grade to residents of the school district who live outside the school's attendance area.
118.51(11) (11)Habitual truancy. Notwithstanding subs. (3) (c) and (13), if a nonresident school board determines that a pupil attending the nonresident school district under this section is habitually truant from the nonresident school district during either semester in the current school year, the nonresident school board may prohibit the pupil from attending the nonresident school district under this section in the succeeding semester or school year.
118.51(12) (12)Special education or related services.
118.51(12)(a)(a) Unavailable after enrollment. If the individualized education program for a pupil, developed or revised under s. 115.787 after a child begins attending public school in a nonresident school district under this section, requires special education or related services that are not available in the nonresident school district or if there is no space available to provide the special education or related services identified in the child's individualized education program, including any class size limits, pupil-teacher ratios or enrollment projections established by the nonresident school board, the nonresident school board may notify the child's parent and the child's resident school board that the special education or related service is not available in the nonresident school district. If such notice is provided, the child shall be transferred to his or her resident school district, which shall provide an educational placement for the child under s. 115.79 (1) (b).
118.51(12)(am) (am) Estimate of costs.
118.51(12)(am)1.1. The nonresident school district shall prepare an estimate of the costs to provide the special education or related services required in the individualized education program developed under s. 115.787 (2) for a child with a disability whose parent has submitted an application under this section. For an application submitted for a child with a disability under sub. (3) (a), the nonresident school district shall provide a copy of the estimate of costs to the resident school district by the 3rd Friday following the first Monday in May. For an application submitted for a child with a disability under sub. (3m) (a), the nonresident school district shall provide a copy of the estimate of costs to the resident school district within 10 days after receiving or developing the individualized education program for the applicant.
118.51(12)(am)2. 2. Except as provided in subd. 3., if the nonresident school district fails to comply with the requirement under this section by the date specified, the nonresident school district may not charge the resident school district for any actual, additional costs incurred by the nonresident school district to provide the special education and related services for the child with a disability.
118.51(12)(am)3. 3. Subdivision 2. does not apply if the resident school district fails to comply with the requirements under sub. (3) (a) 1m.
118.51(12)(b) (b) Undue financial burden.
118.51(12)(b)1.1. If the estimate of the costs of the special education or related services required in the individualized education program under s. 115.787 (2) for a child with a disability whose parent has submitted an application under sub. (3) (a), as proposed to be implemented by the nonresident school district and as provided to the resident school district as required under par. (am), would impose upon the child's resident school district an undue financial burden in light of the resident school district's total economic circumstances, including its revenue limit under subch. VII of ch. 121, its ability to pay tuition costs for the pupil, and the per pupil special education or related services costs for children with disabilities continuing to be served by the resident school district, the child's resident school board may notify the child's parent and the nonresident school board by the 2nd Friday following the first Monday in June that the pupil may not attend the nonresident school district to which the child has applied.
118.51(12)(b)2. 2. If the costs of the special education or related services required in an individualized education program for a pupil, developed or revised under s. 115.787 after a child begins attending public school in a nonresident school district under this section, as implemented or proposed to be implemented by the nonresident school district, would impose upon the child's resident school district an undue financial burden in light of the resident school district's total economic circumstances, including its revenue limit under subch. VII of ch. 121, its ability to pay tuition costs for the pupil and the per pupil special education or related services costs for children with disabilities continuing to be served by the resident school district, the child's resident school board may notify the pupil's parent and the nonresident school board that the costs of the special education or related services impose such an undue financial burden on the resident school district. If such notice is provided, the child shall be transferred to his or her resident school district, which shall provide an educational placement for the child under s. 115.79 (1) (b).
118.51(13) (13)Rights and privileges of nonresident pupils. Except as provided in s. 118.134 (3m), a pupil attending a public school in a nonresident school district under this section has all of the rights and privileges of pupils residing in that school district and is subject to the same rules and regulations as pupils residing in that school district.
118.51(13m) (13m)Participation in certain programs. A pupil attending a public school in a nonresident school district under this section shall be considered a resident of the nonresident school district for the purposes of participating in programs of a cooperative educational service agency or a county children with disabilities education board.
118.51(14) (14)Transportation.
118.51(14)(a)(a) Responsibility.
118.51(14)(a)1.1. Except as provided in subd. 2., the parent of a pupil attending public school in a nonresident school district under this section is responsible for transporting the pupil to and from school in the nonresident school district attended by the pupil.
118.51(14)(a)2. 2. If the pupil is a child with a disability and transportation of the pupil is required in the individualized education program developed for the child under s. 115.787 (2) or is required under s. 121.54 (3), the nonresident school district shall provide such transportation for the child.
118.51(14)(b) (b) Low-income assistance. The parent of a pupil who is eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch under 42 USC 1758 (b) and who will be attending public school in a nonresident school district in the following school year under this section may apply to the department, on the form prepared under sub. (15) (a), for the reimbursement of costs incurred by the parent for the transportation of the pupil to and from the pupil's residence and the school that the pupil will be attending. The department shall determine the reimbursement amount and shall pay the amount from the appropriation under s. 20.255 (2) (cy). The reimbursement amount may not exceed the actual transportation costs incurred by the parent or 3 times the statewide average per pupil transportation costs, whichever is less. If the appropriation under s. 20.255 (2) (cy) in any one year is insufficient to pay the full amount of approved claims under this paragraph, payments shall be prorated among the parents entitled thereto. By the 2nd Friday following the first Monday in May following receipt of the parent's application under sub. (3) (a), the department shall provide to each parent requesting reimbursement under this paragraph an estimate of the amount of reimbursement that the parent will receive if the pupil attends public school in the nonresident school district in the following school year.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)