March 3, 2003

Wisconsin Virtual Charter School Changes State Form

Last year, we informed Home School Legal Defense Association members of the new virtual charter school that was established out of the Appleton School District, called the Wisconsin Connections Academy (WCA). We explained that the virtual charter school program creates small public schools in the home. Each virtual charter school tests the student on a secular program provided by the charter school. There are also many controls placed on the homeschooler who participates in this program. Furthermore, the homeschool student becomes a public school student and is no longer considered a private homeschooler.

Recently we received information from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) that the Wisconsin Connections Academy had altered the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Full-Time Public School Open Enrollment application form. The Department of Public Instruction wanted homeschoolers to know that they had not given permission to the WCA to alter the form. The WCA changed the form by adding their contact information to the top of the Department of Public Instruction's instruction sheet, and by filling in their name in the box for the non-resident school district. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction wanted to make clear to homeschoolers that they did not condone this alteration of their form.

Wisconsin homeschoolers were also concerned that the DPI shared their mailing list of all the registered homeschoolers with the WCA. The DPI assured HSLDA that they did not and will not share their mailing list with the WCA or any future virtual charter schools. The WCA privately obtained their own list of homeschoolers.

For more details on WCA see: