Thursday, February 9, 2012

Data Snapshot: Wisconsin

With the release of the Alliance for School Choice's School Choice Yearbook 2011-12 (available for download here), we'll spend the next few days on School Choice Now! highlighting some of the new data and research it contains.

The Badger State had two victories in 2011, a major contributor to making “The Year of School Choice” such a success.  Not only did Wisconsin expand the longest running school choice program in the nation, but it created a second voucher program modeled after its Milwaukee Program.

2011 Results
  • Number of School Choice Programs: 2
  •  Total Number of Students: 23,426
  • Total Number of Participating Schools: 114
Milwaukee Parental Choice Program
The nation’s longest running voucher program, this program began in 1990!  It’s been expanded and strengthened over the years—and 2011 was no different.  In the biennial budget, signed by Governor Scott Walker, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was expanded by
  • Removing the cap on the number of student participants
  • Permitting schools across the state to accept program participants
  • Expanding the program to benefit children from middle-class families
  • Ensuring that participating families can remain in the program regardless of future income growth
2011-12 School Year Data Update
  • Scholarships Awarded: 23,198
  • Schools Participating: 106
  • 2011 Expenditures: $144,300,800
    Growth in Student Participation

Racine Parental Choice Program
Wisconsin’s newly created voucher program, the Racine Parental Choice Program is modeled off the highly successful Milwaukee Program.  This program allows students living in the Racine Unified School District to attend the school of their parents’ choice.

2011-12 School Year Data Update
  • Scholarships Awarded: 228
  • Schools Participating: 8
  • 2011 Expenditures: $1,546,100
    Growth in Student Participation

2012 Outlook
Wisconsin is still fighting to create even more options for students.  In 2012, we can expect to see movement on a special needs voucher program and voucher expansion to Green Bay.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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