There's mixed results regarding the performance of students enrolled in Milwaukee's Parental Choice Program. The nation's oldest school voucher program has spent millions to allow children from often under performing public schools to private schools. A study from the University of Arkansas found that fourth-graders who received private school vouchers scored somewhat lower in overall subjects than public school counterparts, while eighth-grade voucher students scored somewhat higher. The information presented is positive for one voucher advocate, noting that voucher kids are less of a burden on taxpayers statewide. "This report does state that the state of Wisconsin saves 25 million dollars in the current school year because of the choice program," said Mike Ford, Senior Research Associate at School Choice Wisconsin.
The study's authors emphasize that one must exercise caution when looking at the report. This study began when in 2006 Governor Doyle required further research as a compromise to raise the program's enrollment cap. The researchers say a complete picture of the choice program will take years to develop.