Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

131 Choice Schools

28,770 Participating Students

 

Enroll in the MPCP

 

The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) was created in 1990, and is the country’s first school choice voucher program. The program allows low and middle-income families who live in Milwaukee to enroll their children in private schools that they could not otherwise afford, through the use of an educational voucher.

In its first year, seven private schools in the city accepted 341 students. Today, the MPCP has expanded to include more than 130 schools in the metro-Milwaukee area and serves more than 28,000 students annually. The MPCP has no enrollment caps. Most schools that participate in the MPCP enroll both choice and non-choice students.

MPCP Student Eligibility

  • The student must reside in Milwaukee.
  • Family income must be equal to or less than 300% of the federal poverty level. 
  • There is no limit on the number of students who may participate in the Milwaukee Parent Choice Program.

MPCP Scholarship Amounts

For the 2021–2022 school year, the amount of the voucher was $8,336 for grades K-8 and $8,982 for grades 9-12. Beginning in 2015, the voucher amount increases by an amount equal to the increase in state public school funding each year.

 


 

 


 

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program Growth

 

MPCP Timeline

1990
MPCP IS LAUNCHED

The program was open to students in Milwaukee with a family income less than 175% of the federal poverty level. Private schools had to be nonsectarian, no more than 1% of the enrollment in the MPS could participate, and no more than 49% of a choice school’s enrollment could consist of choice pupils.

1995
RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS INCLUDED

Act 27 allowed religious schools to participate and increased the participation limit to 15% of MPS enrollment.

1998
WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT DECISION

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that it is constitutional for religious schools to participate in the Milwaukee Parent Choice Program.

2002
U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION

SCOTUS ruled that school choice programs are constitutional in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris.

2005
MPCP EXPANDS

Act 125 increased the allowable enrollment in the Milwaukee Parent Choice Program to 22,500 students.

2009
WKCE ADDED

Choice schools were required to administer the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) to voucher students.

2011
MPCP EXPANDS AGAIN

Act 32 deleted the enrollment limit and raised the income threshold to 300% of the federal poverty level.

2015
VOUCHER VALUE

The voucher amount increased by an amount equal to the increase in state public school funding starting in the 2015-2016 school year.

2021
28,770 PARTICIPATING STUDENTS IN 131 SCHOOLS