Case Name: School Choice Wisconsin Action, Inc. v. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Type of Case: Education

Court: Waukesha County Circuit Court

Case Number: 2019-CV-574

Filed On: March 27, 2019

Current Status: Case won, and closed. Court granted summary judgment for SCWA, the state did not appeal

Wisconsin’s brutal 2019 winter with record-setting cold temperatures and snowfalls led to far more school closures than is normal.  Schools have chosen to use some creative measures to make up those lost days, including holding “virtual learning” sessions where students take lessons online.

Wisconsin law requires public schools and private schools participating in the voucher program to provide a minimum number of “direct pupil instruction” per year.  By administrative regulation, DPI allows public schools to use virtual learning to count toward those minimum hours, but denies the exact same opportunity to voucher schools.

The exact same term – direct pupil instruction – is used in both the public school statute and voucher school statute.  DPI has absolutely no justification for defining the term differently for private schools, so we sued to require DPI to treat both types of schools the same.

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