Walker signs Special Needs Scholarship Bill

Posted at 12:42 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 13:42:29-04

MADISON -- Governor Walker signed the Special Needs Scholarship Bill in Madison on Wednesday, authored by State Senator Leah Vukmir and State Representative John Jagler, as two local moms of special needs children looked on.

Dani Rossa of Milwaukee and Susan Giamo of Wauwatosa were instrumental in working with state lawmakers to get the bill passed. 

"This program will give families of special needs kids more options in their education," said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. "It allows children who are not being well served by their local public school the opportunity to attend a school that will help them thrive and succeed."

The Special Needs Scholarship Program will allow Wisconsin students with an IEP who attended public school for the year prior the opportunity to receive a $12,000 scholarship to attend the private school of their parents’ choice.

Initially, due to a drafting error, the bill passed in 2015 only addressed students going forward.

SB 615 corrects that mistake and now allows for students who have been discriminated against in the past five years an opportunity to receive this scholarship.