Wisconsin private schools that accept publicly funded vouchers must not discriminate against students with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Justice says in a guidance letter.
The department investigated after a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union that claimed Milwaukee was creating a system of segregated schools.
The complaint said that 1.6 percent of the students using vouchers in Milwaukee were classified as having disabilities, compared with 20 percent of public school students. The program enrolls some 24,000 students, who receive vouchers of about $6,400 a year.
The Justice Department letter, released this month, says the state must create a process for people to register complaints; monitor schools to make sure students are not being expelled or denied admission because of their disabilities; and conduct outreach to parents about school choice options.
A version of this article appeared in the May 15, 2013 edition of Education Week as Wis. Private Schools Warned About Access