Budget Committee Wraps Up Budget Work

The Joint Finance Committee wrapped up its work on the state budget last night.  As part of that final session, the GOP JFC members approved a significant expansion of special needs vouchers as well as a final wrap up motion that included a provision on special needs open enrollment payments (see below).

The budget now heads to the Assembly for a floor vote on Wednesday, Sept. 13 with a Senate vote expected soon afterwards.  After an identical version passes both houses, Gov. Scott Walker has the opportunity to use his powerful veto pen to make final modifications.  The Legislature has the power to override any veto with a two-thirds majority vote by both houses.

From the wrap up motion:

Special Education Open Enrollment Aid Transfer Amount–For certain special education pupils who participate in open enrollment, specify that, in the first year of the pupil’s participation in the program, the aid transfer amount would equal the amount under current law (about $12,000).

Beginning in the 2018-19, at the end of the school year, the nonresident district may submit a financial statement showing actual costs of services to the open-enrolled special education pupil to DPI.  DPI must provide a copy to the resident school district.

Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, the open enrollment transfer amount for a pupil for whom the nonresident district does not submit a financial statement for would remain at about $12,000. The transfer amount for a student whom the nonresident district does submit a financial statement for would be that amount, up to a maximum of $30,000.

Note: under current law, the resident district counts a pupil who open enrolls to another district in its enrollment for revenue limits and general aid. A specified amount of state aid is transferred to the nonresident district for each pupil. This aid is outside of the nonresident district’s revenue limit. For a special education pupil that amount was $12,000 in 2016-17, with that amount indexed annually by any increase in revenue limits or per pupil categorical aid.