115.7915(3)(a)(a) The governing body of a private school that intends to participate in the program under this section shall notify the department of its intent. The governing body of the private school shall include in the notice under this paragraph the number of spaces the private school has available for children receiving a scholarship under this section.
115.7915(3)(b) (b) If a private school participating in the program under this section receives more applications for scholarships under sub. (2) (f) than the number of children specified in the notice under par. (a), it shall accept applicants in the order in which applications are received, except that the private school may give preference to siblings of pupils who are already attending the private school.
115.7915(3)(c) (c) The governing body of a private school participating in the program under this section shall notify the department when it accepts a child's application to attend the private school under a scholarship awarded under this section.
115.7915(4) (4)Department duties.
115.7915(4)(a)1.1. The department shall develop a document for inclusion with an application under sub. (2) (f), and revise it as necessary, comparing the rights of a child with a disability and of his or her parent under this subchapter, other than this section, and 20 USC 1400 to 1482, with the rights of a child with a disability and of his or her parent under this section and 20 USC 1400 to 1482.
115.7915(4)(a)2. 2. Receipt by an applicant of the document developed under subd. 1., acknowledged in a format prescribed by the department, constitutes notice that the applicant has been informed of his or her rights under this section and 20 USC 1400 to 1482. Subsequent acceptance of a scholarship under this section constitutes the applicant's informed acknowledgment of the rights specified in the document.
115.7915(4)(b) (b) Upon receipt of notice under sub. (3) (c), the department shall request verification from the child's resident school board that the child has an individualized education program or services plan in place for the child and notify the child's resident school board that, pending verification that the requirements of sub. (2) have been satisfied, the child will be awarded a scholarship under this section. The child's resident school board shall, within 3 days of receiving a request under this paragraph, provide verification to the department and provide the governing body of the private school that accepted the child a copy of the child's individualized education program.
115.7915(4m) (4m)Scholarship payments; state aid reduction.
115.7915(4m)(a)(a) Subject to par. (c), from the appropriation under s. 20.255 (2) (az), the department shall pay the private school a child attends under the scholarship program under this section, on behalf of a child's parent or guardian, the following amount:
115.7915(4m)(a)1. 1. In the 2016-17 school year, $12,000.
115.7915(4m)(a)2. 2. Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, the sum of the scholarship amount under this paragraph for the previous school year; the amount of the per pupil revenue limit adjustment under s. 121.91 (2m) for the current school year, if positive; and the change in the amount of statewide categorical aid per pupil between the previous school year and the current school year, as determined under s. 118.40 (2r) (e) 2p., if positive.
115.7915(4m)(b) (b) The department shall pay 25 percent of the total amount under par. (a) in September, 25 percent in November, 25 percent in February, and 25 percent in May. Each installment may consist of a single check for all children attending the private school who are receiving a scholarship under par. (a).
115.7915(4m)(c) (c) The department may not make a scholarship payment under par. (a) to a private school on behalf of a child's parent or guardian unless the child's parent or guardian has acknowledged receiving the private school's profile under sub. (6) (g) in the manner provided by the department.
115.7915(4m)(d) (d) Except as provided in par. (e), a scholarship awarded to a child for the child to attend a private school under par. (a) continues until the child graduates from high school or until the end of the school term in which the child attains the age of 21, whichever comes first.
115.7915(4m)(e)1.1. If an individualized education program team, upon reevaluation of a child as required under sub. (2) (h), determines that a child receiving a scholarship under par. (a) is no longer a child with a disability, all of the following apply:
115.7915(4m)(e)1.a. a. The child's resident school district shall notify the parent or guardian of the child of the procedural safeguards in place for the child under 20 USC 1415.
115.7915(4m)(e)1.b. b. The child is not eligible to receive a scholarship under par. (a) beginning in the school term following the determination.
115.7915(4m)(e)2. 2. If a child who has been determined to be ineligible under subd. 1. continues to attend the private school he or she attended under a scholarship awarded under par. (a), for each school year the child attends the private school beginning with the school year following the determination under subd. 1., the department shall pay, from the appropriation under s. 20.255 (2) (az), to the private school, on behalf of the child's parent or guardian, an amount equal to the appropriate per pupil amount paid to a private school participating in a parental choice program under s. 118.60 or 119.23 in that school year. The department shall make scholarship payments under this paragraph in accordance with the payment schedule specified in s. 119.23 (4) (c).
115.7915(4m)(f)1.1. Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, subject to s. 121.085 (1), the department shall decrease a school district's state aid payment under s. 121.08 by an amount calculated as follows:
115.7915(4m)(f)1.a. a. Determine the number of pupils residing in the school district for whom a payment is made under par. (a) in that school year.
115.7915(4m)(f)1.b. b. Multiply the number of pupils under subd. 1. a. by the per pupil amount calculated under par. (a) for that school year.
115.7915(4m)(f)1.c. c. Determine the number of pupils residing in the school district for whom a payment is made under par. (e) in that school year.
115.7915(4m)(f)1.d. d. Multiply the number of pupils under subd. 1. c. by the per pupil amount paid under par. (e) for that school year.
115.7915(4m)(f)1.e. e. Sum the amounts calculated under subd. 1. b. and d.
115.7915(4m)(f)2. 2. If the state aid payment under s. 121.08 is insufficient to cover the reduction under subd. 1., as determined under s. 121.085 (2), the department shall decrease other state aid payments made by the department to the school district by the remaining amount.
115.7915(4m)(f)3. 3. The department shall ensure that the decrease under subd. 1. does not affect the amount determined to be received by a school district as state aid under s. 121.08 for any other purpose.
115.7915(5) (5)School board duties.
115.7915(5)(a)(a) Annually, each school board shall notify the parents of each child with a disability enrolled in the school district of the program under this section.
115.7915(5)(b) (b) Upon the request of a parent of a child receiving a scholarship under this section, the child's resident school board shall administer the appropriate examinations under s. 118.30 to the child at no cost if the private school the child attends does not administer them.
115.7915(6) (6)Private school duties. Each private school participating in the program under this section or receiving a payment under sub. (4m) shall do all of the following:
115.7915(6)(a) (a) Comply with all health and safety laws or codes that apply to public schools.
115.7915(6)(b) (b) Hold a valid certificate of occupancy, if required by the municipality in which the school is located. If the municipality in which the school is located does not issue certificates of occupancy, the private school shall obtain a certificate of occupancy issued by the local or regional governmental unit with authority to issue certificates of occupancy or submit to the department a letter or form from the municipality in which the private school is located that explains that the municipality does not issue certificates of occupancy.
115.7915(6)(c) (c) Comply with 42 USC 2000d.
115.7915(6)(d) (d) Conduct criminal background investigations of its employees and exclude from employment any person not permitted to hold a teaching license as the result of an offense and any person who might reasonably be believed to pose a threat to the safety of others.
115.7915(6)(e) (e) Annually submit to the department a school financial information report, prepared by a certified public accountant, that complies with uniform financial accounting standards established by the department by rule. The report shall be accompanied by an auditor's statement that the report is free of material misstatements and fairly represents pupil costs. The report shall be limited in scope to those records that are necessary for the department to make payments to the private school.
115.7915(6)(f) (f) If the private school expects to receive at least $50,000 in scholarships under this section during a school year, do one of the following before the beginning of the school year:
115.7915(6)(f)1. 1. File with the department a surety bond payable to the state in an amount equal to 25 percent of the total amount of scholarships expected to be received by the private school during the school year under this section.
115.7915(6)(f)2. 2. File with the department financial information demonstrating that the private school has the ability to pay an amount equal to the total amount of scholarships expected to be received by the private school during the school year under this section.
115.7915(6)(g) (g) Provide to each applicant under sub. (2) (f) a profile of the private school's special education program, in a form prescribed by the department, that includes the methods of instruction that will be used by the school to provide special education and related services to the child and the qualifications of the teachers and other persons who will be providing special education and related services to the child.
115.7915(6)(h)1.1. Implement the child's most recent individualized education program or services plan, as modified by agreement between the private school and the child's parent, and related services agreed to by the private school and the child's parent that are not included in the child's individualized education program or services plan.
115.7915(6)(h)2. 2. Within 5 days of receiving a request from the resident school board of a child with a disability attending the private school under this section, provide all records relating to the implementation of the child's individualized education program or services plan by the private school, as required under subd. 1.
115.7915(6)(i) (i) Regularly report to the parent of a child attending the private school and receiving a scholarship under this section on the child's progress.
115.7915(7) (7)Transportation. Section 121.54 applies to the transportation of a child to and from the private school he or she is attending under a scholarship awarded under this section.
115.7915(8) (8)Penalties.
115.7915(8)(a)(a) The department may bar a private school from participating in the program under this section if the department determines that the private school has done any of the following:
115.7915(8)(a)1. 1. Intentionally and substantially misrepresented information required under sub. (6).
115.7915(8)(a)2. 2. Routinely failed to comply with the standards under sub. (6) (e) or (f).
115.7915(8)(a)3. 3. Used a child's scholarship for any purpose other than educational purposes or rebated, refunded, or shared a child's scholarship with a child or a child's parent or guardian.
115.7915(8)(a)4. 4. Failed to refund to the state, within 60 days, any scholarship overpayments.
115.7915(8)(b) (b) If the department bars a private school from participating in the program under this section, it shall notify all children eligible to participate in the program and their parents as quickly as possible. A child who is receiving a scholarship and attending a private school barred from the program may continue to receive the scholarship if the child attends another participating private school.
115.7915(8)(c) (c) The state superintendent may withhold payment under sub. (4m) from a private school participating in the program under this section if the private school violates this section.
115.7915(9) (9)Study.
115.7915(9)(a)(a) The legislative audit bureau shall study the program under this section. The study shall evaluate all of the following:
115.7915(9)(a)1. 1. The level of satisfaction with the program expressed by participating children and their parents.
115.7915(9)(a)2. 2. The percentage of participating children who were victimized because of their special needs at their resident school district and the percentage of such children at their participating school.
115.7915(9)(a)3. 3. The percentage of participating children who exhibited behavioral problems at their resident school district and the percentage of such children at their participating school.
115.7915(9)(a)4. 4. The average class size at participating children's resident school districts and at their participating schools.
115.7915(9)(a)5. 5. The fiscal impact of the program on the state and on resident school districts.
115.7915(9)(b) (b) Require the researchers who conduct the study to do all of the following:
115.7915(9)(b)1. 1. Apply appropriate analytical and behavioral science methodologies to ensure public confidence in the study.
115.7915(9)(b)2. 2. Protect the identity of participating schools and children.
115.7915(9)(c) (c) Require that the results of the study be reported to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3) by January 9, 2019.
115.7915(10) (10)Rules. The department shall promulgate rules to implement and administer this section, including rules relating to all of the following:
115.7915(10)(a) (a) The eligibility and participation of eligible schools, including timelines that maximize child and school participation.
115.7915(10)(b) (b) The calculation and distribution of scholarships.
115.7915(10)(c) (c) The application and approval procedures for children and eligible schools.
115.7915 History History: 2015 a. 55, 289, 297; s. 13.92 (2) (i).
115.792 115.792 Procedural safeguards.
115.792(1) (1)Safeguards ensured.
115.792(1)(a)(a) The local educational agency shall establish and maintain procedures to ensure all of the following:
115.792(1)(a)1. 1. That the parents of a child may examine all records relating to the child and may participate in meetings about the identification, evaluation and educational placement of the child, and the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child, and may obtain an independent educational evaluation of the child.
115.792(1)(a)2. 2. That a child's rights are protected by the assignment of an individual, who shall not be an employee of the department, the local educational agency, or any other agency that is involved in the education or care of the child, to act as a surrogate for the child's parents whenever the child's parents are not known; the local educational agency cannot, after reasonable efforts, locate the child's parents; or the child is a ward of the state. For a child who is a ward of the state, a judge overseeing the child's care may appoint a surrogate for the child's parents if the surrogate meets the requirements of this subdivision.
115.792(1)(a)3. 3. That a child's parents are offered an opportunity to use mediation under s. 115.797.
115.792(1)(b) (b) The local educational agency shall establish and maintain procedures to ensure that a child's parents are provided prior written notice whenever the local educational agency proposes to initiate or change, or refuses to initiate or change, the identification, evaluation or educational placement of the child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child. In this paragraph, “local educational agency" includes the nonresident school district that a child is attending under s. 118.50, 118.51, or 121.84 (1) (a) or (4).
115.792(2) (2)Notice. The notice required under sub. (1) (b) shall be in the native language of the child's parents unless the local educational agency determines that it clearly is not feasible to do so and shall include all of the following:
115.792(2)(a) (a) A description of the action proposed or refused by the local educational agency.
115.792(2)(b) (b) An explanation of why the local educational agency proposes or refuses to take the action.
115.792(2)(c) (c) A description of any other options that the local educational agency considered and the reasons why it rejected those options.
115.792(2)(d) (d) A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report that the local educational agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action.
115.792(2)(e) (e) If the notice proposes to evaluate or reevaluate the child, the names of the evaluators, if known.
115.792(2)(f) (f) A description of any other factors that are relevant to the local educational agency's proposal or refusal.
115.792(2)(g) (g) A statement that the parents of a child with a disability have procedural safeguards under this section and, if this notice is not an initial referral for evaluation, the way in which the parents may obtain a description of the procedural safeguards under sub. (3).
115.792(2)(h) (h) Sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding this subchapter.
115.792(3) (3)Procedural safeguards notice.
115.792(3)(a)(a) In this subsection, “local educational agency" includes the nonresident school district that a child is attending under s. 118.50, 118.51, or 121.84 (1) (a) or (4).
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2017 Wis. Act 4 and all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before April 20, 2017. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 20, 2017 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-20-17)