118.60(7)(ad)3. 3. The governing body of a private school participating in the program under this section and accredited as required under subds. 1. and 2. and sub. (2) (a) 7. shall ensure that the private school continuously maintains accreditation from an accrediting entity as long as the private school continues to participate in the program under this section.
118.60(7)(ag) (ag) If a participating private school learns that an accrediting organization with which the private school is maintaining accreditation, as required under par. (ad), is a disqualified organization, the private school shall immediately notify the department in writing of this fact and shall obtain accreditation from an accrediting entity no later than 3 years from the date on which the private school learned that the accrediting organization is a disqualified organization.
118.60(7)(am)1m.1m. In this paragraph, “eligible education expenses" means all direct and indirect costs associated with a private school's educational programming for pupils enrolled in grades kindergarten to 12 that are reasonable for the private school to achieve its educational purposes, as determined by the governing body of the private school in a written policy and tested by an independent auditor. “Eligible education expenses" include expenses related to management, insurance, transportation, extracurricular programming and activities, facility and equipment costs, development expenses, and programming that provides child care services before school, after school, or both before and after school. A cost is not an “eligible education expense" if an independent auditor determines, after testing, that the cost is not a cost associated with the private school's educational programming for pupils enrolled in grades kindergarten to 12 that is reasonable for the private school to achieve its educational purposes, as determined by the governing body of the private school in a written policy.
118.60(7)(am)2m. 2m. Each private school participating in the program under this section is subject to uniform financial accounting standards established by the department. Annually by October 15 following a school year in which a private school participated in the program under this section, the private school shall submit to the department all of the following:
118.60(7)(am)2m.a. a. An independent financial audit of the private school conducted by an independent certified public accountant, accompanied by the auditor's statement that the report is free of material misstatements and fairly presents the private school's eligible education expenses, and beginning in the 2nd school year a private school participates in the program under this section, a copy of a management letter prepared by the auditor. If the private school annually received a total of at least $100,000 under this section and ss. 115.7915 and 119.23 in any school year, the audit shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles with allowable modifications for long-term fixed assets. If the private school has not annually received a total of at least $100,000 under this section and ss. 115.7915 and 119.23 in any school year, the audit shall be prepared as prescribed by the department by rule. The audit shall include a calculation of the private school's net eligible education expenses and a calculation of the balance of the private school's fund for future eligible education expenses. The auditor shall conduct his or her audit, including determining sample sizes and evaluating financial viability, in accordance with the auditing standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The department may not require an auditor to comply with standards that exceed the scope of the standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. If a private school participating in a program under this section is part of an organization and the private school and the organization share assets, liabilities, or eligible education expenses, the private school may submit an audit of the private school or of the organization of which it is a part. If a private school that is part of an organization with which it shares assets, liabilities, or eligible education expenses submits an audit of only the private school, the independent auditor shall use his or her professional judgment to allocate any shared assets, liabilities, and eligible education expenses between the organization and the private school. If a private school participating in the program under this section also accepts pupils under s. 115.7915 or 119.23, the private school may submit one comprehensive financial audit to satisfy the requirements of this subdivision and ss. 115.7915 (6) (e) and 119.23 (7) (am) 2m., whichever are applicable. The private school shall include in the comprehensive financial audit the information specified under s. 119.23 (7) (am) 2m.
118.60(7)(am)2m.b. b. Evidence of sound fiscal and internal control practices, as prescribed by the department by rule. An independent auditor engaged to evaluate the private school's fiscal and internal control practices shall conduct his or her evaluation, including determining sample sizes, in accordance with attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The independent auditor engaged to evaluate the private school's fiscal and internal control practice shall also review any concerns raised in the private school's management letter submitted under subd. 2m. a. The fact that a private school reports a negative reserve balance alone is not evidence that the private school does not have the financial ability to continue operating or that the private school does not follow sound fiscal and internal control practices.
118.60(7)(am)2m.c. c. If an independent auditor engaged to evaluate the private school's fiscal and internal control practice determines that the governing body of the private school has not taken reasonable actions to remedy any concerns raised in the management letter submitted under subd. 2m. a. in the previous school year, a report prepared by the independent auditor that includes the auditor's findings related to the governing body's actions to remedy any concerns raised in the management letter for the previous school year.
118.60(7)(am)3.a.a. By no later than February 15 or 120 days after the date on which the audit under subd. 2m. a. is received by the department, whichever is later, the department shall notify a private school participating in the program under this section whether or not additional information is required for the department to complete its review of the audit. Subject to subd. 3. b., the department may request that an auditor provide additional information if the request is related to the department reviewing the audit. The department shall determine whether a private school participating in the program under this section has provided the information and met the requirements required under subd. 2m. a. by April 1.
118.60(7)(am)3.b. b. Before April 1, the department may contact the auditor who prepared the audit under subd. 2m. a. only regarding matters that may impact the private school's financial statement by an amount that is greater than 1 percent of the total amount the private school received under this section for the previous school year and any items or information the department determines are missing from the audit.
118.60(7)(am)3.c. c. Notwithstanding subd. 3. a. and b., the department may communicate with an auditor as necessary for the purpose of assessing the financial viability of a private school participating in the program under this section.
118.60(7)(am)3.d. d. An auditor who receives a written communication under this subdivision shall respond to the department within 10 school days of receiving the written communication.
118.60(7)(an)1.1. A private school participating in the program under this section shall maintain a cash and investment balance that is at least equal to its reserve balance. If a private school does not maintain a cash and investment balance that is at least equal to its reserve balance, the private school shall refund the reserve balance to the department. If a private school ceases to participate in or is barred from the program under this section and s. 119.23 and the private school's reserve balance is positive, the private school shall refund the reserve balance to the department.
118.60(7)(an)2. 2. If a private school participating in the program under this section has a reserve balance that is greater than 50 percent of the total amount the private school received under this section in the previous school year, the governing body of the private school shall approve a plan for how it will use the amount of the reserve balance that exceeds 50 percent of the total amount the private school received under this section in the previous school year.
118.60(7)(b) (b) Each private school participating in the program under this section shall do all of the following:
118.60(7)(b)1. 1. Administer to any pupils attending the 3rd grade in the private school under this section a standardized reading test developed by the department.
118.60(7)(b)2. 2. Adopt the pupil academic standards required under s. 118.30 (1g) (a) 4.
118.60(7)(b)2m. 2m. Develop a written policy governing visitors and visits to the private school.
118.60(7)(b)3. 3. Ensure that any teacher's aide employed by the private school has graduated from high school, been granted a declaration of equivalency of high school graduation, been granted a high school diploma by the administrator of a home-based private educational program, or been issued a general educational development certificate of high school equivalency, or has obtained a degree or educational credential higher than a high school diploma, declaration of equivalency of high school graduation, or general educational development certificate of high school equivalency.
118.60(7)(b)3m. 3m. Annually, schedule 2 meetings at which members of the governing body of the private school will be present and at which pupils, and the parents or guardians of pupils, applying to attend the private school or attending the private school may meet and communicate with the members of the governing body. The private school shall, within 30 days after the start of the school term, notify the department in writing of the scheduled meeting dates and shall, at least 30 days before the scheduled meeting date, notify in writing each pupil, or the parent or guardian of each minor pupil, applying to attend the private school or attending the private school of the meeting date, time, and place.
118.60(7)(b)4. 4. Maintain progress records for each pupil attending the private school under this section while the pupil attends the school and, except as provided under subd. 7., for at least 5 years after the pupil ceases to attend the school.
118.60(7)(b)5. 5. Upon request, provide a pupil or the parent or guardian of a minor pupil who is attending the private school under this section with a copy of the pupil's progress records.
118.60(7)(b)6. 6. Issue a high school diploma or certificate to each pupil who attends the private school under this section and satisfactorily completes the course of instruction and any other requirements necessary for high school graduation.
118.60(7)(b)7.a.a. Except as provided in subd. 7. b., if the private school ceases operating as a private school, immediately transfer all of the progress records of each pupil who attended the school under this section to the school board of the school district within which the pupil resides. The private school shall send written notice to each pupil, or to the parent or guardian of a minor pupil, of the transfer of progress records under this subd. 7. a.
118.60(7)(b)7.b. b. If the private school is affiliated with an organization that will maintain the progress records of each pupil who attended the school under this section for at least 5 years after the private school ceases operation as a private school, the private school may transfer a pupil's records to the organization if the pupil, or the parent or guardian of a minor pupil, consents in writing to the release of the progress records to the affiliated organization. The private school shall send to the department a copy of the consent form for each pupil who consents to the transfer of progress records under this subd. 7. b. The written notice shall be signed by the pupil, or the parent or guardian of a minor pupil, and shall include the name, phone number, mailing address, and other relevant contact information of the organization that will maintain the progress records, and a declaration by the affiliated organization that the organization agrees to maintain the progress records for at least 5 years after the private school ceases operation as a private school.
118.60(7)(c) (c) A private school may not require a pupil attending the private school under this section to participate in any religious activity if the pupil's parent or guardian submits to the pupil's teacher or the private school's principal a written request that the pupil be exempt from such activities.
118.60(7)(d) (d) By August 1 before the first school term of participation in the program that begins in the 2014-15 school year or any school year thereafter, or by May 1 if the private school begins participating in the program during summer school, each private school participating in the program under this section shall submit to the department all of the following:
118.60(7)(d)1.a.a. In this subdivision, “ municipality" has the meaning given in s. 5.02 (11).
118.60(7)(d)1.b. b. A copy of the school's current certificate of occupancy issued by the municipality within which the school is located. If the private school moves to a new location, the private school shall submit a copy of the new certificate of occupancy issued by the municipality within which the school is located to the department before the attendance of pupils at the new location and before the next succeeding date specified in s. 121.05 (1) (a). If the municipality within which the private school is located does not issue certificates of occupancy, the private school may submit a certificate of occupancy issued by the local or regional governmental unit with authority to issue certificates of occupancy or a letter or form from the municipality within which the private school is located that explains that the municipality does not issue certificates of occupancy. A temporary certificate of occupancy does not meet the requirement of this subdivision. This subdivision applies only to a private school located in an eligible school district.
118.60(7)(d)3. 3. Proof that the private school's administrator has participated in a fiscal management training program approved by the department.
118.60(7)(dr) (dr) A private school participating in the program under this section may elect to maintain an electronic copy of any application submitted on behalf of and any correspondence to or about a pupil attending the private school under this section instead of a paper copy of the application and correspondence. The private school shall maintain electronic copies of pupil applications and correspondence for a period of at least 5 years.
118.60(7)(e) (e) Each private school participating in the program under this section shall administer the examinations required under s. 118.30 (1t) or examinations permitted under s. 118.301 (3) to pupils attending the school under the program. The private school may administer additional standardized tests to such pupils.
118.60(7)(em)1.1. The governing body of each private school participating in the program under this section shall, subject to subd. 2., annually, by August 1, provide the department with evidence demonstrating that the private school remains accredited for the current school year as required under par. (ad), except that in the 2017-18 school year the governing body shall submit the evidence by January 15, 2018. The governing body shall include as evidence of accreditation a letter prepared by an accrediting entity that confirms that the private school is accredited by that entity as of the date of the letter.
118.60(7)(em)2. 2. The governing body shall immediately notify the department if its accreditation status changes.
118.60(7)(g)1.1. By the first day of the 3rd month beginning after the month in which the department establishes the model management plan and practices for maintaining indoor environmental quality in public and private schools under s. 118.075 (3), or by October 1 of a private school's first school year of participation in the program under this section, whichever is later, the private school shall provide for the development of a plan for maintaining indoor environmental quality in the private school.
118.60(7)(g)2. 2. By the first day of the 12th month beginning after the month in which the department establishes the model management plan and practices for maintaining indoor environmental quality in public and private schools under s. 118.075 (3), or by the beginning of the 2nd school year of participation in the program under this section, whichever is later, the private school shall implement a plan for maintaining indoor environmental quality in the private school.
118.60(7)(g)3. 3. Each private school participating in the program under this section shall provide a copy of the plan implemented under subd. 2. to any person upon request.
118.60(7)(h) (h) Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, each private school participating in the program under this section shall 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.
118.60(7m) (7m)
118.60(7m)(a)(a) By May 1 before the first school term that a private school participates in the program under this section or s. 119.23, a private school shall submit to the department one of the following:
118.60(7m)(a)1. 1. A surety bond payable to the state in an amount equal to 25 percent of the total amount of payments the private school expects to receive under this section and s. 119.23 during the first school year the private school participates in the program under this section.
118.60(7m)(a)2. 2. A complete anticipated budget, on a form provided by the department, for the first fiscal period of participation in the program under this section and evidence of financial viability, as prescribed by the department by rule. The private school shall include in the budget the anticipated enrollments for all pupils enrolled in the private school and for pupils enrolled in the private school under this section; estimated revenues and costs; a schedule of anticipated beginning and ending net choice program assets; and a schedule of monthly cash flow requirements. The private school shall include in the budget contingent funding sources the private school will use in the event that actual enrollments are less than expected.
118.60(7m)(b)1.1. If a private school submits a surety bond under par. (a) 1., the private school shall annually provide, by May 1, a surety bond payable to the state until the private school submits all of the following to the department:
118.60(7m)(b)1.a. a. A financial audit prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles with allowable modifications for long-term fixed assets that does not contain any indicators that the private school is not financially viable.
118.60(7m)(b)1.b. b. Evidence of sound fiscal and internal control practices under sub. (7) (am) 2m. b. for the school year in the financial audit submitted under subd. 1. a. and for the subsequent school year, neither of which indicates that the private school is not financially viable.
118.60(7m)(b)2. 2. A private school shall provide a surety bond under this paragraph in an amount equal to 25 percent of the total amount of payments the private school expects to receive under this section and s. 119.23 during the following school year.
118.60(7m)(c) (c) If a private school submits a complete anticipated budget under par. (a) 2., the department shall determine whether the private school is financially viable by August 1. If the department determines that the private school is not financially viable, the private school is not eligible to participate in the program under this section or s. 119.23 in the current school year.
118.60(9) (9)If any accrediting or preaccrediting entity determines during the accrediting or preaccrediting process that a private school does not meet all of the requirements under s. 118.165 (1), it shall report that failure to the department.
118.60(9m) (9m)Beginning in September 2016, and annually thereafter, the governing body of a private school participating in the program under this section that maintains an Internet site for the private school shall, if the private school is included in the most recent accountability report published under s. 115.385, within 30 days after the department publishes the accountability report, prominently link on the home page of that Internet site to the pages in that most recent accountability report concerning the private school.
118.60(10) (10)
118.60(10)(a)(a) The state superintendent may issue an order barring a private school from participating in the program under this section in the current school year if the state superintendent determines that the private school has done any of the following:
118.60(10)(a)1. 1. Intentionally or negligently misrepresented any information required under this section or any rule promulgated under this section.
118.60(10)(a)2. 2. Failed to provide the notice or pay the fee required under sub. (2) (a) 3., or provide the information required under sub. (7) (am) or (d), by the date or within the period specified.
118.60(10)(a)3. 3. Failed to refund to the state any overpayment made under sub. (4) or (4m) by the date specified by department rule.
118.60(10)(a)5. 5. Failed to provide the information required under sub. (6m) or (6p).
118.60(10)(a)6. 6. Failed to comply with the requirements under sub. (7) (b), (c), or (h) or (7m).
118.60(10)(a)7. 7. Violated sub. (7) (b) 4., 5., or 6.
118.60(10)(a)8. 8. Before the end of a 7-year period beginning on the date of an order issued by the state superintendent under this subsection, retained a disqualified person, for compensation or as a volunteer, as an owner, officer, director, trustee, administrator, person designated by the administrator to assist in processing pupil applications, or person responsible for administrative, financial, or pupil health and safety matters.
118.60(10)(am) (am) If the state superintendent determines that any of the following have occurred, he or she may issue an order barring the private school from participating in the program under this section in the following school year:
118.60(10)(am)1. 1. The private school has not complied with the requirements under sub. (7) (em).
118.60(10)(am)2. 2. The private school's application for accreditation has been denied by the accrediting entity.
118.60(10)(am)3. 3. The private school has not achieved accreditation within the period allowed under sub. (2) (a) 7.
118.60(10)(am)4. 4. The private school intentionally or negligently misrepresented any information required under this section or any rule promulgated under this section.
118.60(10)(ar)1.1. If the state superintendent determines that a private school has failed to continuously maintain accreditation as required under sub. (7) (ad), that the governing body of the private school has withdrawn the private school from the accreditation process, or that the private school's accreditation has been revoked, denied, or terminated by an accrediting entity, the state superintendent shall issue an order barring the private school's participation in the program under this section at the end of the current school year.
118.60(10)(ar)2. 2. A private school whose participation in the program under this section is barred under subd. 1. may not participate in the program under this section or under s. 119.23 until the governing body of the private school demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that it has obtained accreditation from an accrediting entity, provided the accreditation is from an entity other than the entity with which the private school failed to continuously maintain accreditation or, if the private school's accreditation was revoked, denied, or terminated, other than the entity that revoked, denied, or terminated the private school's accreditation.
118.60(10)(b) (b) The state superintendent may issue an order immediately terminating a private school's participation in the program under this section if he or she determines that conditions at the private school present an imminent threat to the health or safety of pupils.
118.60(10)(c) (c) Whenever the state superintendent issues an order under par. (a), (am), (ar), or (b), he or she shall immediately notify the parent or guardian of each pupil attending the private school under this section.
118.60(10)(d) (d) The state superintendent may withhold payment from a private school under subs. (4) and (4m) if the private school violates this section or s. 115.383 (3) (b).
118.60(11) (11)The department shall do all of the following:
118.60(11)(a) (a) Promulgate rules to implement and administer this section. The department may not by rule establish standards under sub. (7) (am) that exceed the standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
118.60(11)(b) (b) Notify each private school participating in the program under this section of any proposed changes to the program or to administrative rules governing the program, including changes to application or filing deadlines but not including changes to provisions governing health or safety, prior to the beginning of the school year in which the change takes effect.
118.60(11)(c) (c) Within 10 days after receiving the information submitted as required under sub. (7) (em), notify the participating private school of receipt of accreditation status.
118.60(11)(d) (d) When the department publicly releases data related to enrollment of, standardized test results for, applications submitted by, waiting lists for pupils participating in or seeking to participate in the program under this section, release the data all at the same time, uniformly, and completely.
118.60 History History: 2011 a. 32, 47, 215; 2013 a. 20, 2013 a. 166 s. 77; 2013 a. 173 s. 33; 2013 a. 237, 256; 2015 a. 55, 72, 212, 297, 338; 2017 a. 36, 59; 2017 a. 364 ss. 48, 49; 2017 a. 366; s. 13.92 (2) (i); s. 35.17 correction in (2) (ag) 4., (3) (ar) 3. and (c), (10) (a) 3.
118.60 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. PI 48, Wis. adm. code.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 50 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on December 6, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after December 6, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 12-6-19)