DID YOU KNOW…
- 222 private schools have applied to participate in the statewide private school tuition voucher program in 2018-2019
- Married families of four making $61,120 or less are eligible to receive a taxpayer funded voucher for their children to participate in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP)
- 84% of children receiving vouchers in the WPCP in the 2017-2018 school year were either already attending private schools, homeschooled, or new to Wisconsin schools. Only 16% of students receiving vouchers in the WPCP program transferred from public schools in 2017-2018.
- The state of Wisconsin has spent $51,309,130 to educate private school students in the WCPC program since it was expanded in 2013.
- Taxpayers paid $269.7 million total on private school tuition vouchers (including Milwaukee and Racine) in the 2017-2018 school year
- 230 of Wisconsin’s 426 public schools districts received less state aid in 2017-2018 than they did in 2016-2017
- The caps for enrollment are slowly being lifted every year until they are set in statute to be lifted entirely in 2026-27 school year.
Sources: DPI 2017, DPI 2018
Links and Resources:
Public Support for Public Education, presentation by Julie Underwood
Video: “Road to Referendum” The school funding process utilized by the state of Wisconsin is complicated and unpopular, if not broken. Ask anyone who pays into it. “Road to Referendum” details the problems inherent in the current funding system, and highlights some possible solutions, from the point-of-view of the community of Eau Claire, WI — which is headed to a fall referendum on school financing.
Network for Public Education: Privatization toolkits
Education Academy 101: Resources on understanding public education funding and policy in Wisconsin, produced by Wisconsin School Administrators Alliance, the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, the Southeastern Wisconsin Schools Alliance, and the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. Includes fantastic videos on School Finance 101 and Accountability in Education.
DPI Resource: Wisconsin School Finance system (website)
DPI’s Fair Funding for our Future plan (website)
DPI: A brief history of vouchers (pdf)
“Public Schools: Make Them Private,” by Milton Friedman (1995)
Mead, J.F. (2015). Private in Name Only: A Statutory and Constitutional Analysis of Milwaukee’s Private School Voucher Program. Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice. 21(2), 331-382.
FUNDING GAPS: Click here to see how Wisconsin compares to other states in funding high and low poverty students. https://edtrust.org/map/