The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) published a press release this morning noting that 28 private schools in 5 counties have registered for the new Special Needs Scholarship Program. In total, there are 416 seats available for students ranging from grades K4-12 and ages 4-21.

“Once again, parents and students are showing their demand for options in education in Wisconsin,” said Jim Bender, President of School Choice Wisconsin. “The Special Needs Scholarship holds promise for many families seeking a new direction for their children.”

All schools were required to complete a school profile outlining which special needs services they are able to accommodate and the qualifications of their staff. Many schools have highly specialized and advanced programs available.

This upcoming school year is the first year the Special Needs Scholarship Program will be available to Wisconsin families. In order to be eligible, students must have an active IEP or services plan and have been rejected from open enrollment within the last 5 years. After this year, students must also have attended public school the entire year prior. Applications become available on July 1st and students are accepted on a first come, first serve basis.