October 22, 2014

Few voucher students move from public schools

A majority of Wisconsin students receiving tax subsidies to attend private schools through a new statewide voucher initiative were not attending public schools last year. That’s according to the state Department of Public Instruction. A release from DPI provides information on the 512 students recieving vouchers for the current school year through the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program. It shows that 371 students, or 73%, were attending private schools in the 2012-13 school year, while 106 students, or 21%, were at public schools. The remainder were either home-schooled, came from out of state or were not in school at all.

The number of voucher students already enrolled in private schools is actually higher than the 67% which DPI projected just two months ago.

Participating Appleton and Green Bay/De Pere area private schools have the highest voucher enrollment, each with 53 students. Private schools in Oshkosh are enrolling 49 voucher students, followed by Wisconsin Rapids with 43, the Eau Claire/Altoona area with 37, and Manitowoc with 36 FTE students. According to DPI, 2,415 students applied to attend 48 schools that participated in the statewide program.