Wisconsin

School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Are for-profit charters allowed?

Did not find

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Unclear-

The sum of the number of charter schools operating under a contract with the college of Menominee Nation and the number of charter schools operating under a contract with the Lac Courte Orielles Ojibwa community college may not exceed 6.

Wis. Stat. § 118.40(2r)(cq): Other initiatives

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

No-

The operator of a charter school authorized may provide transportation to pupils attending the charter school and may claim transportation aid for pupils so transported.

Wis. Stat. § 118.40(2r)(dm): Other initiatives

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?

No-

The chartering or contracting entity must ensure that all instructional staff of charter schools hold a license or permit to teach issued by the department.

Wis. Stat. § 118.40(2r)(d)1: Other initiatives

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?

Yes-

"'Virtual charter school' means a charter school under contract with a school board under s. 118.40 in which all or a portion of the instruction is provided through means of the Internet, and the pupils enrolled in and instructional staff employed by the school are geographically remote from each other."

Wis. Stat. §115.001(16)

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Unclear-

We did not find explicit reporting requirements; however, "Whenever a pupil attending a virtual charter school fails to respond appropriately to a school assignment or directive from instructional staff within 5 school days, the governing body of the virtual charter school shall notify the pupil's parent or guardian."

Wis. Stat. §118.40(8)(g)1: Virtual schools - Pupil's failure to participate

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

Yes-

The governing body of a virtual charter school shall assign an appropriately licensed teacher for each online course offered by the virtual charter school. In this subsection, an individual who holds a license or permit to teach a subject and level in the state from which the online course is provided is appropriately licensed to teach the subject and level in this state.

Wis. Stat. §118.40(8)(b): Virtual Schools - Licensure

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?

Yes-

Wisconsin statute allows for four different voucher programs:

1) Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine

3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program

4) Wisconsin Special Needs Scholarship Program

1) Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. § 119.23 and 235

2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine: Wis. Stat. § 118.60

3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. § 118.60

4) Wisconsin Special Needs Scholarship Program: Wis. Stat. §115.7915

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?

Yes-

Wisconsin statute allows for an individual tuition tax deduction: Wisconsin K-12 Private School Tuition Deduction

Wis. Stat. § 71.05(6)(b)49

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Yes-

Voucher-eligible private schools must meet all of the criteria under s. 118.165 (1)

S. 118.165 (1): "an institution is a private school if its educational program meets all of the following criteria:
(a) The primary purpose of the program is to provide private or religious-based education."

1) Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. § 119.23(1)(ai)1

2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine & 3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. §118.60(1)(bn)1

4) Wisconsin Special Needs Scholarship Program: Wis. Stat. §115.7915(1)(a)

Wis. Stat. § 118.165 (1)

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Yes-

2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine & 3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program:

"Beginning with the 2015-16 school year and ending with the 2025-26 school year, the total number of pupils residing in a school district, other than an eligible school district or a 1st class city school district, who may attend a private school under this section during a school year may not exceed the school district's pupil participation limit for that school year."

2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine & 3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. § 118.60(2)(be)2.

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Yes-

1) Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program & 2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine & 3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program:

Each private school participating in the program under this section shall administer the examinations required under s. 118.30 (1s) 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.

4) Wisconsin Special Needs Scholarship Program:

Eligible students must take the State Civic Exam for high school graduation unless exempt by their IEP.

1) Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. § 119.23(7)(b)

2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine & 3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. § 118.60(7)(b)

4) Wisconsin Special Needs Scholarship Program: Wis. Stat. §115.787(2)(em)

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Yes-

1) Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program & 2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine & 3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program:

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 did not administer to any pupils attending the 3rd grade in the private school under this section a standardized reading test or adopt the pupil academic standards.

1) Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. § 119.23(10)(a)6-7

2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine & 3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. § 118.60(10)(a)6-7

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Yes-

1) Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program & 2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine & 3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program:

The board shall provide transportation to pupils attending a private school under this section if required under s. 121.54 and may claim transportation aid under s. 121.58 for pupils so transported.

4) Wisconsin Special Needs Scholarship Program:

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.

1) Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. 119.23(6)

2) Wisconsin Parental Private School Choice Program Racine & 3) Wisconsin Parental Choice Program: Wis. Stat. 118.60(6)

4) Wisconsin Special Needs Scholarship Program: Wis. Stat 115.7915(7)

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?

Yes-

Except as provided in s. 118.50 (6), 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.

Wis. Stat. § 118.51(2) Full-time open enrollment - Applicability

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?

No-

"...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."

Wis. Stat. § 118.51(14)(a)(1)

Page last updated: January 2020

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The content contained herein is currently under review by state policy experts. This beta version of the Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes. This information is current through the second legislative session of 2019. The information contained here does not reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. Additionally, the information on this website does not constitute legal advice. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. As previously indicated, information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. This site contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.