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SCOTUS ruling is a win for school choice

June 21, 2022

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to allow parents in Maine to use state funds to pay tuition for religious schools. This is an important case for the choice movement and a big win. The case was titled Carson v. Makin, No. 20-1088. See this story from The New York Times.

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St. Aug prep breaks ground, crime down

June 10, 2022

Some very nice news surrounding a choice school in Milwaukee this week. St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, a Milwaukee Parental Choice Program school, broke ground this week on a grade school facility on Milwaukee’s south side. The $49 million building will have room for 900 K4 to 5th grade students. The K4–12 school, expected to be completed in 2023, will be the biggest single-campus school in Milwaukee and will have space to serve 2,400 students, according to a press release, BizTimes reported. One of the most interesting facts to emerge: Since the school opened, crime in the area has fallen by…

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Report: Milwaukee choice students outperforming peers

May 26, 2022

By School Choice Wisconsin Students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program continue to outperform their public school peers, says a new report from the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL). Proficiency rates in private choice schools were 4.6% higher in English/language arts and 4.5% higher in math on average than proficiency rates in traditional public schools in Milwaukee, says the Apples to Apples report from WILL. The report draws on data from the state Department of Public Instruction’s WISEdash system for the 2020­–21 school year. Among the report’s other findings: Forward Exam participation was higher in Milwaukee choice and…

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What We’re Reading: School Choice Gathering Steam

May 20, 2022

It’s heartening to see movements for school choice gathering steam around the U.S., following the lead of School Choice Wisconsin’s founders, who spearheaded the drive toward parental empowerment. If you cruise around Google News or other news aggregators, you’ll see how broad the interest in school choice is across the country. Here are a few links of interest. Brandon Jennings attempting to launch Milwaukee voucher school School choice in America Elected officials can’t ignore reality on school choice  The growing enthusiasm for school choice reflects the views found in a recent survey School Choice Wisconsin commissioned. In the survey, conducted…

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A Tony Evers’ Veto on School Choice for All Would Be Morally Wrong

March 30, 2022

March 30, 2022 By George Mitchell While Superintendent of Public Instruction, Gov. Tony Evers wrote to legislators a decade ago that expanding the Wisconsin Parental Choice program was “morally wrong.” Evers said he reached that conclusion because the program “has not improved overall student achievement.” Fast forward to the present. Under criteria applied by none other than Evers’ education agency, private choice schools in the state’s largest choice program — Milwaukee — score higher on the DPI Report Card than do public schools. DPI data show that by other measures — such as the college-readiness ACT test — students in the state’s…

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Choice Schools and Families Stranded When DPI Drops the Ball

February 21, 2022

This year in Wisconsin, 49,000 students are enrolled in private schools through the Milwaukee, Racine, or Statewide Parental Choice Program. These are students in hard-working lower-income families who have been given a voucher to attend the school of their choice. The program is a blessing to families who could not otherwise afford the education that best meets their child’s needs. The only way parents can apply for the Parental Choice Program is through the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI)’s Online Application System (OAS) during the enrollment period for their program. OAS is also the only place where schools can…

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Why Not School Choice?

January 26, 2022

January 26, 2022 By Edgar Zaragoza Wisconsin’s private school choice program has benefited my family and—through my work at the Green Bay Area Catholic Education School System (GRACE)—I’ve personally seen it change the lives of hundreds of families for the better. Why not bring the blessing of choice to more families? About a decade ago, I worked at a public school, but hoped for a different quality of education and faith-based environment for my oldest daughter. By asking many questions about our options, I learned about Wisconsin’s School Voucher Program and applied for it through GRACE. When we received a voucher, I thought the…

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How the Milwaukee School Choice Program Inspired a National Movement

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022 By Susan Mitchell In 1990, the Milwaukee School Choice Program served only 341 students at seven schools. Last year nearly 29,000 students — 1 in 4 Milwaukee school children —used it to attend 129 private schools. More than three decades have passed since former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson signed into law the nation’s first modern parent choice program. The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program inspired a national movement. Thirty-two other states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico now have their own parent choice programs, serving more than 600,000 students. The pandemic has fueled recent growth and awakened…

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Common Sense Wisconsin Releases Power Education Blueprint

August 17, 2021

Around the country we have seen a number of new education policy proposals that empower parents in K-12 education. Even in states that are not traditional sources of educational options, the pandemic has engaged parents in a manner that is garnering strong reactions. Today, here in Wisconsin, we see a new proposal that expands our existing parental choice options.  By eliminating a number of remaining barriers, parents would have significantly more control across all sectors of education for all parents. Common Sense Wisconsin released the Power Education Blueprint with an agenda for reforming and enhancing the way families engage with…

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Dane County School Closure Order Invalidated

June 11, 2021

Last August, days after some schools had opened and days before most schools were ready to open, the Dane County Health Department issued a school closure order for all schools, public and private serving grades 3-12. School Choice Wisconsin Action, along with several private schools and other stakeholders, immediately filed suit through the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.  The petition asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court for an injunction that would allow schools to open while the Court deliberated. The injunction was granted allowing private schools in Dane County to open for in-person instruction, but the Court’s final decision was…

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