Few Wisconsin Voucher Students Came From Public Schools

Oct 29, 2013

Approximately 73-percent of students taking part in Wisconsin's school Choice or voucher program, already attended a private school last year.

The state Dept. of Public Instruction released the figures Tuesday. They indicate that only 21 percent of this year's voucher participants came from public schools, despite the initial intent of the program to enable students to leave poor-performing public schools.

In addition to the 73-percent who attended private institutions last year, three percent did not attend school and more than two percent were homeschooled.

This year, the Legislature expanded the Choice program beyond Racine and Milwaukee. Up to 500 students in other districts can participate, with the number doubling next year.

The program started in Milwaukee in 1990 for a few hundred low-income households and non-sectarian schools. Since that time, Choice has added religious schools, more students, broader incomes and geographic boundaries.