IDEA Part B Discretionary Grants Program Summaries

Technical Assistance

IDEA Part B discretionary grants are distributed for statewide systems change initiatives to ensure the greatest impact on the maximum number of children with disabilities in Wisconsin. The department is committed to maintaining statewide grants that are central to themes in IDEA and support the State Performance Plan (SPP) indicators established by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). These statewide initiatives are listed below with links to more information and to grant project websites, when available:

2r Charter School Special Education Capacity Building Initiative
This initiative is intended to ensure the provision of a free and appropriate education to students with disabilities in Wisconsin’s independent 2r charter school, improve the quality of special education services, and improve academic and behavioral outcomes for those students.
SPP Indicators supported by 2r Charter School Grant: 3, 4, and 20
Fiscal Agent: CESA 1
DPI Grant Director: Janice Duff, (414) 227-1845; and Sarah Okonkwor, (608) 267-3749

Autism Evidence Based Practice Grants
These grants assist educators working in school-level teams to learn how to implement evidence-based practices to improve academic, social, and emotional skills of students with autism spectrum disorders and to assist in the development of internal school-wide structures to promote continued learning and fidelity of implementation of evidence based practices.  
SPP Indicators: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
Fiscal Agents: Wisconsin Local Education Agencies by competitive application
DPI Grant Director: Daniel Parker, (608) 266-5194

Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network (previously CREATE)
The Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network, "the Network," is a multi-tiered system of compliance activities and improvement supports to address racial disproportionality in special education. 
SPP Indicators supported by the Network Grant: 4B, 9 and 10
Fiscal Agent: CESA 6
DPI Grant Co-Director: Courtney Reed Jenkins, (608) 267-9160
DPI Grant Co-Director: Vaunce Ashby, (608) 266-0043
Calendar of Events

Early Childhood Regional, Program Support and Leadership
The Early Childhood Program Support Leadership and Eligibility grants support State Performance Plan (SPP) early childhood indicators and initiatives. These grants support best practices and community collaborations in early education.
SPP Indicators supported by Early Childhood Grants: 6, 7, and 12
Fiscal Agent: CESAs 1-12, Milwaukee Public Schools
DPI Grant Director: Jenny Giles, (608) 267-9172

Regional Services Network (RSN)
The statewide RSN grant project is a vehicle through which the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) improves the outcomes for students with disabilities through leadership, communication and professional development.
SPP Indicators supported by RSN Grant: 1-15
Fiscal Agent: CESAs 1 through 12
DPI Grant Director: Erin Faasuamalie, (608) 266-1785

Transition Improvement Grant (TIG)
This grant improves post high school outcomes for students with disabilities in Wisconsin by providing effective, targeted, professional development to Wisconsin schools and LEAs in the area of postsecondary transition. The TIG aims to combine the use of the PTP with improvement activities by integrating the existing WSTI and WSHSOS projects.
SPP Indicators: 1, 2, 13 and 14
Fiscal Agent: CESA 11
DPI Grant Director: Nancy Molfenter, (608) 266-1146
Websites:,,, and
Calendar of Events

RTI Center and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Network
The Wisconsin RtI Center’s vision is to bring about systems change in Wisconsin school communities in order to maximize opportunities for all students to achieve academic and behavioral success. This project focuses on increasing Wisconsin’s capacity to provide high quality professional development and technical assistance regionally throughout the state. The Wisconsin PBIS Network provides technical assistance and coordinates professional development to help Wisconsin public school districts establish and sustain PBIS within their respective schools.
SPP Indicators supported by RtI Center: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, and 10
Fiscal Agent: CESA 5
DPI Grant Director: Lynn Winn, (608) 267-3748
Websites: and
Calendar of Events

Very Special Arts of Wisconsin (VSA)
VSA Wisconsin expands the capabilities, confidence and quality of life for children and adults with disabilities by providing programs in dance, drama, creative writing, music and visual art. VSA programs enhance education, advance socialization and promote inclusion for students with disabilities.
SPP Indicators supported by VSA Grant: 1, 2, 7, and 14
Fiscal Agent: Very Special Arts Wisconsin
DPI Grant Director: Patti Williams, (608) 267-3720
Calendar of Events

WI Family Assistance Center for Education, Training and Support (WI FACETS) Milwaukee Public Schools Initiative
Increase the knowledge and engagement of families of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students to make decisions regarding their children’s education. Improve the knowledge of families of MPS students to become more engaged in MPS’ implementation of RtI and PBIS.
SPP Indicators supported by WI FACETS: 4 and 8.
Fiscal Agent: WI FACETS
DPI Grant Director: Daniel Parker, (608) 266-5194
Calendar of Events

WI Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS)
WSEMS assists parents and schools to resolve disputes about special education through mediation and facilitated IEPs.
SPP Indicators supported by WSEMS: 18 and 19
Fiscal Agent: CESA 7
DPI Grant Director: Marge Resan, (608) 267-9158
Calendar of Events

WI Statewide Parent Educator Initiative (WSPEI)
WSPEI assists Wisconsin school districts and parents of children with disabilities to develop and maintain ongoing, positive communication about their children's education. WSPEI helps parents and school districts find or create the resources that will help them build positive working relationships that lead to shared decision making and children's learning.
SPP Indicators supported by WSPEI: 8
Fiscal Agent: CESA 12
DPI Grant Director: Daniel Parker, (608) 266-5194
Calendar of Events
District Liaison Program Schedule

For more information, contact: Susan Hart, Grants Specialist, Special Education Team, at (608) 267-2349. You may also contact Lauren Holapa, Office Operations Associate, Special Education Team, at (608) 267-9167.

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