News

Report Cards Released for Milwaukee Choice Program

November 21, 2017

Highlight – Majority of Highest Performing Schools in Milwaukee in Choice Program The first statewide report cards were issued for private schools in the Parental Choice Programs today. The data reflects the performance of the 2016-17 school year. Overall, the results showed modestly higher performance for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) and Racine Parental Choice Program (RPCP) than their Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and Racine Unified School District (RUSD) peers. For the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP), however, the sample size of schools with data is too small to garner programmatic evaluation. The data shows that in Milwaukee, of…

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Parental Choice Programs Continue to Grow

October 19, 2017

More schools, more students and more communities now part of programs  Final numbers were released by the Department of Public Instruction regarding the fall enrollment for all four Parental Choice Programs in Wisconsin. Each program increased enrollment and the number of participating schools. The table below lists the specific numbers over the last two years. “Parental demand continues to drive the expansion of school choice in Wisconsin,” Jim Bender said. “After two years of a 1%  district enrollment cap on the statewide program, the increase to 2% this fall has given the program room to grow.”

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Parental Choice Program Students Again Outperform Peers

September 27, 2017

Second consecutive year of higher ACT scores – regardless of income Data released today by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) show that again this year, students in the Parental Choice Programs are outperforming their peers.  As with all test data, a one-year snapshot has limitations but the trend of higher scores for students on a voucher is great news for students and taxpayers. “All three Parental Choice Programs, comprised predominately of low-income students, outscored their full-income, public school counterparts across the entire state on the ACT for the second year in a row,” Jim Bender said. “Combined with the…

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Statement on Passage of Special Needs Scholarship Modifications

September 7, 2017

Access to the program opened to more parents The Joint Committee on Finance approved a motion today as part of the 2017-19 biennial budget that removed barriers to the Special Needs Scholarship Program. The following is a statement from SCW President Jim Bender: “We thank the committee for giving more parents access to the Special Needs Scholarship Program. Far too many students with disabilities have limited options in education. Moving forward, families across Wisconsin will have new choices at their disposal. We would also like to thank Senator Leah Vukmir and Representative John Jagler for their ongoing work and support…

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Work Program Gives Students Competitive Edge

August 30, 2017

In the business world, organizations look for people whose experience can benefit them. So why would a company employ teenagers who need to be trained in the very basics of the working world? “We do it to help break down barriers for disadvantaged students,” says Peggy Coakley, President and CEO of Coakley Brothers, of the workforce development program her company has embarked upon with Milwaukee’s Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. The work program is designed to teach kids skills that will help them network in the Milwaukee business community and find jobs after graduation. Other corporate partners include Aurora Healthcare,…

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Statement on Passage of Education Package by JFC

August 29, 2017

Per pupil funding, summer school and income limits included in motion Madison – The Joint Committee on Finance approved an education motion today as part of the 2017-19 biennial budget. The following is a statement from SCW President Jim Bender: “We thank the committee for approving substantial funding increases for students in the Parental Choice Programs. While a significant funding gap still persists between sectors, especially at the high school level, this injection of resources will benefit a growing number of Wisconsin residents. The increase to the income limit for the WPCP from 185 percent to 220 percent of the…

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New Report Shows Impact of Current Accountability Measures in Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

August 2, 2017

  Report challenges voucher program critics’ opposition that schools are “unaccountable” August 1, 2017 – Milwaukee, WI – School Choice Wisconsin (SCW) and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) have co-authored a new, comprehensive study on the impact of Wisconsin’s accountability laws on private schools in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP).  The study, the first of its kind, explains how these laws – and parental choice – have influenced the manner that private schools have gained or lost access the MPCP, their fiscal viability and enrollment trends over time. The study focuses on the current administrative accountability measures and how…

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Accountability in Action-August 2017

August 1, 2017

In this report, School Choice Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty explore the impact of fiscal accountability and parental choice on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. “The debate over private school vouchers has shifted away from their mere existence towards whether – and how – accountability provisions should impact the ability of private schools to participate in the program. The education community is divided over this question. Some argue that test-based accountability should sanction poor-performing schools of all types, others argue that parental school choice, fiscal, and market forces are the strongest forms of accountability and are…

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Once Again, Voucher Funding Data

May 31, 2017

Yesterday, a LFB memo was released highlighting the state aid portion of education funding and the relative levels between the Parental Choice Programs and traditional public school district funding increases. As has been the practice, the request for the memo is selectively narrow to give only a portion of the data without context. The memo pointed to an increase in voucher funding compared to a decrease in public school funding. In this instance, the illusion of higher voucher funding is woven into a narrative that lacks context by only using the state portion of funding. While the per pupil voucher…

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28 Schools Register for Special Needs Scholarship Program

May 31, 2017

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) published a press release this morning noting that 28 private schools in 5 counties have registered for the new Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP). In total, there are 416 seats available for students ranging from grades K4-12 and ages 4-21. “Once again, parents and students are showing their demand for options in education in Wisconsin,” said Jim Bender, President of School Choice Wisconsin. “The Special Needs Scholarship holds promise for many families seeking a new direction for their children.” All schools were required to complete a school profile outlining which special needs services they…

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