“33,781 students received vouchers to attend one of the 209 participating private schools in the Milwaukee, Racine and statewide Parental Choice programs, up about 5% over last year,” according to the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel.
Background: Twenty-five years ago, voucher programs started in Milwaukee. Recently, this program has expanded, with 135 private and religious schools in Wisconsin registered to accept voucher students. According to WMTV, of the new voucher students, “75 percent had attended a private school the previous year before taking the taxpayer-funded subsidy to continue their private school education. Only 19 percent of new voucher school enrollees came from a public school. Special Needs Vouchers add to the loss. For instance, Lake Country Lutheran High School in Hartland will receive $108,000 this year for nine students who qualified for special-needs vouchers, including five students who were already attending the school.
Implications for Wisconsin Public Schools: Public school districts have lost funding under school choice. For instance, “Andrew Chromy, finance director for the West Allis-West Milwaukee schools, said it would cost his district almost $662,000,” and the“Lodi School District lost $68,000 in state aid due to the expanded private-school voucher program…despite not having any students from the district who used it.”