New Analysis Finds Choice Schools More Cost-Effective Than Public School Peers

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WEST ALLIS — According to new research published today, schools in Wisconsin’s parental choice programs are significantly more cost-effective than their public school peers.

The analysis of publicly-available Department of Public Instruction school report cards and state and local funding data found that private schools in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, Racine Parental Choice Program and statewide Wisconsin Parental Choice Program all delivered significantly more bang for the buck than their public school peers:

  • The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was 89 percent more cost-effective than the Milwaukee Public School District. 
  • The Racine Parental Choice Program was 92 percent more cost-effective than the Racine Unified School District. 
  • The statewide Wisconsin Parental Choice Program was 42 percent more cost-effective than statewide public schools.

“Parents, students, and taxpayers are all winners from school choice,” School Choice Wisconsin President Nicholas Kelly said. “More than 30 years after its inception, school choice continues to deliver on its promise of delivering cost-effective education to students across our state.”

By understating public school revenue by omitting federal aid and private donations, and overstating private school fundraising, this analysis provides a conservative estimate of overall cost-effectiveness of private schools that participate in the choice programs. Of note, the overall cost-effectiveness advantage is maintained even when accounting for this summer’s funding increases. A one-page summary of the findings can be found here and the full research analysis can be found here.  

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