For Immediate Release
April 8, 2019
Contact: Jim Bender, School Choice Wisconsin

In Taking Swipe at Choice Program, School/City Make Huge Error

Statement from Jim Bender, President of School Choice Wisconsin on the confirmation that the City of Racine and the Racine Unified School District sent out flyers to taxpayers with erroneous information regarding property taxes and the Racine Parental Choice Program:

The City of Racine and the Racine Unified School District misled the public with a flyer designed to sway public opinion and shame parents of students in the Racine Parental Choice Program (RPCP). Their use of erroneous and incomplete data shows the true nature of the flyer – advocacy. The Mayor bypassed the City Council while working with the Racine Education Association to create a flyer more commonly seen in political campaigns, not as a document from a local unit of government. Nowhere does the flyer reflect the lower cost per student for those in the RPCP or the impact if the program were eliminated. As more information becomes available, other school districts around the state should ensure their information and data are correct and complete.

The flyer shows a property tax impact of $18.65 million, or roughly 20% of the RUSD levy. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the actual levy impact is $4.8 million or 5% of the RUSD levy. The Racine Parental Choice Program accounts for roughly 15% of all publicly-funded students in Racine.  Overall, the Racine Parental Choice Program has a complex impact on the overall levy, with potential savings not represented in the flyer.