Private school voucher programs costing Wisconsin taxpayers $245 million this year

vouchers_245_million_300pxThe costs for Wisconsin’s private school voucher programs – which have expanded statewide and to include special needs vouchers – continues to grow. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the programs cost taxpayers $245 million this school year, up about $15 million from last year.

Nearly 34,700 students received publicly funded vouchers to attend private schools this year. Statewide, 209 private schools are participating in the program, with Milwaukee accounting for 28,000 students. However, enrollment in the Racine and statewide voucher programs rose dramatically this year – up 19% to 2,532 students in Racine and up 21% to 3,061 in other communities, according to the Journal Sentinel.

As the voucher program grows, it drains more and more much-needed funding from public schools.

Mary Young of the public schools advocacy group SOS Wauwatosa is quoted as calling the increase in voucher funding “heartbreaking.”

“After 25 years of study there’s no proof that voucher schools outperform public schools. In many cases, they do worse,” she said. “Our state should support great schools that serve all of our kids.”

Read the entire article:

School voucher programs grow in 2015-’16

Wisconsin is expected to spend almost $245 million on private school vouchers for the 2016-’17 school year, up almost $15 million from a year ago, driven by double-digit enrollment increases in the Racine and statewide programs. Overall, 33,781 students received vouchers to attend one of the 209 participating private schools in the Milwaukee, Racine and statewide Parental Choice programs, up about 5% over last year.

Comment on Facebook:

Private school voucher programs costing Wisconsin taxpayers $245 million this year

As the voucher program grows, it drains more and more much-needed funding from public schools.