Gov. Evers recently signed two bills that increase public school choice in Wisconsin. SB 109 and SB 110 specifically aim to remove barriers to accessing Wisconsin’s largest school choice option, the Open Enrollment Program, by expanding access to virtual schools. The program allows over 65,000 students to access a public school district outside their own without living within the district’s boundaries.
Senate Bill 109, introduced by Senators Ballweg, Testin, and Feyen, further expands access by allowing students to apply to both fully virtual charter schools and fully virtual programs for the 2021-2022 school year. Senate Bill 110, introduced by Senator Ballweg, makes permanent changes to the law by eliminating the three-district application limit for fully virtual charter schools.
Under current law, students may submit applications to up to three public school districts outside their own during the February 1st – April 30th application period. Unfortunately, if a student is denied by all three districts, by law they must wait until the following school year to re-apply. Additionally, current law does not specifically permit students to attend a fully virtual program using open enrollment.