SCHOOL CHOICE FAQ FOR PARENTS

Wisconsin’s Private School Choice Programs include the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP), the Racine Parental Choice Program (RPCP), the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP), and the Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP). These programs allow eligible students to attend a participating private school in grades K4 to 12.

MPCP RPCP WPCP SNSP
Residency Milwaukee Public School District Racine Unified Public School District Wisconsin, not MPS or RUSD All Wisconsin
Income Threshold 300% of Federal Poverty Level 300% of Federal Poverty Level 220% of Federal Poverty Level None
Eligibility Any student K4-12 Public school K4-12 students

Students not enrolled in school the prior year

Students enrolled in MPCP/RPCP/WPCP the prior year

Private school students entering K4, K5, 1st, and 9th grade

Out-of-state students

Public school K4-12 students

Students not enrolled in school the prior year

Students enrolled in MPCP/RPCP/WPCP the prior year

Private school students entering K4, K5, 1st, and 9th grade

Out-of-state students

Students with an individualized Education Program (IEP) or services plan that meets program requirements
Enrollment Periods February 1 – February 22
March 1 – March 22
April 1 – April 20
May 1 – May 20
June 1 – June 21
July 1 – July 20
August 1 – August 20
Sept 1 – Sept 14
October 1 – October 20
November 1 – November 22
December 1 – January 7
February 1 – February 22
March 1 – March 22
April 1 – April 20
May 1 – May 20
June 1 – June 21
July 1 – July 20
August 1 – August 20
Sept 1 – Sept 14
February 1, 2022 to April 21, 2022 July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 for the 2021 – 2022 school year

Q: What are the income thresholds?

A: In the MPCP and the RPCP, your family must have an Adjusted Gross Income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level, with an additional $7,000 allowed for a married couple. In the WPCP, your family must have an Adjusted Gross Income at or below 220% of the federal poverty level, with an additional $7,000 allowed for a married couple. (See tables below.)

MPCP Income Threshold ChartWPCP Income Threshold Chart

Q: What if my income increases after we’ve received a voucher?

A: The “once in, always in” provision means your child keeps his or her voucher even if family income rises, as long as he or she does not voluntarily leave the program.

music fees

Q: Do I have to pay additional tuition?

A: In K-8th grade, schools can’t charge additional tuition. In grades 9-12, a school is allowed to charge additional tuition if the family’s adjusted gross income exceeds 220% f the federal poverty level.

Q: Can I be charged additional fees?

A: You can be charged reasonable fees for:

  • Personal items such as towels, gym clothes or uniforms
  • Social and extracurricular activities as long as the activity is not a part of the required curriculum
  • Musical instruments
  • Meals
  • High school classes not required or credited for graduation
  • Transportation
  • Before-school and after-school child care
More questions? Contact us and get them answered.
school choice enrollment

Q: How do I know what schools are open to school choice?

A: Call your preferred private or religious school to see if they intend to participate in one of Wisconsin’s Parental Choice Programs. A list of schools that currently participate can also be found here.

Q: Which grade levels are available at the private or religious school I choose?

A: Each private or religious school determines the grade levels and the number of seats it will make available to students in the Parental Choice Programs. This will vary from school to school.

Q: Does my child have to meet academic standards to attend a school through the program?

A: A student who meets residency and income requirements is eligible for the program. A school may not use grades or test scores as a condition of acceptance into the program. Once a student is accepted into the program, a school may test a student for placement purposes within the school.

Q: Can I apply to more than one school through the program?

A: Yes.

Q: Will my child be required to follow the school rules?

A: Yes. Once a student is accepted and enrolled in the school, he or she is required to follow the school’s policies and procedures. A parent should contact the school for a copy of its policies and procedures. In addition, state law requires schools to have policies and procedures in place regarding suspension and expulsion.

Q: How many students and how many schools can participate in the Choice Programs?

A: There is no limit on the number of schools or students that may participate in either the Milwaukee or the Racine Parental Choice Programs. In the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program in 2021 – 2022, the student cap is determined by calculating 6% of the local school districts enrollment. Enrollment in a particular area can not exceed that 6% cap.

For more school choice information, visit the School Choice Toolkit main page.

More questions? Contact us and get them answered.