WCRIS Students Surprised by Generous Increase in Kohl Scholarships 

At the first of five award banquets hosted by the Kohl Foundation, Senator Kohl surprised attendees by announcing a $2,000 increase for each student scholarship award, making each worth $5,000.
“This vigorous increase in the scholarship amount is amazing, especially since it was just increased from $1,000 to $3,000 last year. Now, by going up to $5,000 per student, Senator Kohl is doing even more to help these outstanding students finance their higher education,” said WCRIS Executive Director Sharon Schmeling. 
“The student winners and their parents have been left speechless, and jumping for joy, at this unbelievable news. We are so grateful that Wisconsin is home to such a visionary philanthropist, who is calling out and rewarding excellence in education so generously,” Schmeling said.  
This brings the 2016 grand total awarded by the Kohl foundation to WCRIS principals, teachers, students, and schools up to $201,000.   
Twenty-seven WCRIS students were presented with this scholarship to be used towards their post-secondary education choice. Fourteen received the Student Excellence Scholarship, and thirteen received the Student Initiative Scholarship.

“Senator Kohl’s decision to increase the scholarship shows that he is well-aware of the pressure facing young people to finance their higher education, and he is using the resources at his disposal in a most profound and enterprising way to address that challenge,” Schmeling said.
The student awards increase comes after a wave of good fortune from the Kohl Foundation to WCRIS schools.
Last fall, Executive Director Sharon Schmeling met with the Foundation in order to organize an Excellence in School Leadership Award. For the first time this year, four WCRIS principals will receive $3,000 each and another $3,000 for his/her school.
Annually, WCRIS works with the Kohl Foundation to collect teacher nominations, distribute and collect applications, and assist with the selection committee process. 
"We are totally overwhelmed at the generosity and benevolence of the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation,” Schmeling said.  

"It's truly a privilege to facilitate this competition for our members. In collaboration with WCRIS, the Foundation has awarded $1.44 million to WCRIS teachers, students, principals, and their schools since the awards were initiated in 1990," Schmeling said.

See below for a list of the 2016 Kohl award winners.



Available Now

Copies of the 2016-2017 WCRIS Legal Handbook


Members may buy copies for only $50 each

Non-members pay $250 each for their first copy


To order a WCRIS Legal Handbook click here 


All new content, including information on:

  • The new state tuition tax deduction for K-12 school students,
  • School busing with a new Frequently Asked Questions section and clarity about deadlines 
  • Using free student labor in and by private schools;
  • New methods allowed to notify parents/guardians of student truancy;
  • Accommodating parents who are sex offenders and request a school visit;
  • New guidelines regulating safe food handling in school lunch programs
  • The Wisconsin Parental Choice Program; and 
  •  The new Special Needs Scholarship Program

The printing of the 2016-2017 WCRIS Legal Handbook has been underwritten by a grant from TADS Tuition Management. 



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WCRIS supports policies that align with its core beliefs:

All children have the right to quality, affordable education.Our State can ensure this right by securing and maintaining exceptional educational options for families, including the provision of government assistance for parents, allowing them to select the educational path most suited for their child’s success.

Economic status should not determine whether a child receives a quality education.Wisconsin must be ever vigilant to maintain access to a wide range of quality educational options for all students.

Our educational system must be designed to facilitate the growth of quality educational institutions, both public and private. must remain committed to supporting successful school innovations and streamlining administrative processes that provide accountability while focusing on promoting school improvement at all schools.