Survival Coalition Disappointed in Expanded Private School Funding, Proposed Modest Investment in Public Special Education

June 20, 2023

The Survival Coalition of more than 20 statewide disability organizations is deeply disappointed with the Governor’s decision today to sign into law Senate Bill 330 increasing the amount of public funding for private schools, while the Legislature’s current state budget proposal for a modest special education increase would keep Wisconsin near the very bottom of all states in covering public school special education costs.

“Continuing to expand private schools that are allowed to selectively admit students and are not accountable for outcomes, while failing to adequately cover the costs of public schools which are required to educate all students is not the right direction for Wisconsin,” said Beth Swedeen, Survival Coalition Co-Chair.

“Wisconsin is now funding two separate and unequal education systems,” said Kit Kerschensteiner, Survival Coalition Co-Chair. “Wisconsin is choosing to increase funding for private schools that do not have to educate students with disabilities and where families have no recourse if their student is not receiving the specialized support they need.”

Survival Coalition supports increasing the state’s share of special education funding from the current 31.5% to 60% and eliminating public funding for private schools. As part of the ongoing state budget process, the Joint Finance Committee increased special education reimbursement to only 33.3%, dependent on funds being available. Read full Press Release