Vos Compromise Amendment Approved by Assembly

As expected, shortly before midnight the Assembly added Speaker Robin Vos’ new voucher funding formula (see previous post) as an amendment to Senate Bill 615 dealing with the special needs scholarship program.  That program, created in the 2015-17 state budget act, lets a pupil with disabilities receive a $12,000 voucher from the state to attend a participating private school.

Under the Vos amendment public school districts in which pupils attend private voucher schools through the statewide or Racine voucher programs are allowed revenue limit authority equal to the amount of state aid they lose to private school vouchers.  The amendment reduces their overall revenue limit authority by an estimated $5.3 million compared to current law.

Senate Bill 615, would, among other things, let children with disabilities apply for a  special needs voucher at any point during the school year.  As introduced,  the bill did not affect the way special needs students or any other students were counted by their resident districts for revenue limit purposes.

Democrats lost a challenge to the relevance of the amendment to the bill. The bill  was concurred in as amended 56-37 and now goes back to the Senate.
The Assembly has said it will not come back and is adjourned.  The Senate is expected to be back in March before adjourning.