How do schools get into Wisconsin’s choice programs?

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Carol Shires, SCW vice president of operations

If your school is considering participating in one of Wisconsin’s choice programs, consider this: School Choice Wisconsin is here to help with applying and onboarding.

ChoiceWords attended a session in September with a school looking to join one of Wisconsin’s choice programs. The essential informational session was run on-site at the school by School Choice Wisconsin Vice President of Operations Carol Shires. Shires is among the onboarding experts at SCW. 

The school was excited about a future with the choice program, but had many financial, paperwork, deadline, state regulatory and enrollment questions. 

Each school’s situation is different. At the September session ChoiceWords attended, the questions and the answers from the principal, the school’s business manager and the designated choice administrator were quite detailed and specific. The answers Shires provided were detailed as well. 

One key deadline: Schools must apply to participate in the Wisconsin’s private school choice programs for 2023–24 by January 10, 2023. A good amount of lead time is needed to complete the paperwork by that time.

Schools rely on SCW’s weekly Get Educated Now newsletter for information on deadlines, regulatory requirement and changes from the state Department of Public Instruction and other key information. Sign up for the newsletter on the bottom right of the SCW homepage.

Wisconsin has four parental choice programs: the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP), Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP), Racine Parental Choice Program (RPCP) and Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP).

Schools can draw students from more than one program.

Schools reach out to School Choice Wisconsin regularly for help in onboarding and other aspects of choice. From August of last year to August of this year, more than 40 schools reached out to School Choice Wisconsin for onboarding assistance. Overall enrollment in choice is up for this year, as School Choice recently reported.

Contact School Choice Wisconsin at [email protected] or 414-319-9160 if your school is considering participating in the choice programs. 

— School Choice Wisconsin

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