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Voucher Program Costs Reach Nearly $270 Million

By John Forester | October 24, 2017

From WisPolitics.com …

Almost 2,700 more students are enrolling in private voucher school programs, up about 8 percent from last year, according to preliminary enrollment figures from DPI.

In all, 36,249 students across the three programs in Wisconsin — Racine, Milwaukee and one operating statewide — are receiving vouchers, up from 33,565 students last year. Through each program, students are able to receive taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend participating private schools.

DPI, meanwhile, estimates the program will cost nearly $270 million for the 2017-18 school year.

School Choice Wisconsin President Jim Bender says the numbers are evidence that “parental demand continues to drive the expansion of school choice in Wisconsin.”

“After two years of a 1% district enrollment cap on the statewide program, the increase to 2% this fall has given the program room to grow,” he said.

The enrollment cap for the statewide program will increase 1 percentage point each year until it hits 10 percent in 2025-26, when it will then be lifted.

DPI’s numbers show 4,540 students in the statewide program across 154 different private schools. Meanwhile, Racine has 3,007 in 23 schools. And Milwaukee has 28,702 students enrolled in 126 schools.

See the DPI release here.

See coverage from Wisconsin Public Radio here.

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