Wisconsin sees rapid growth in statewide school choice program

By Lisa Telliga

This week, headlines out of Wisconsin have been touting the state’s enrollment numbers for its Wisconsin Parental Choice Program. Since last fall, the number of students enrolled in the voucher program have more than doubled and so has the number of participating schools. This year, the program has 2,514 compared to last year’s 1,007, and the number of participating schools has jumped from 31 to 82 qualifying schools.

The rising numbers show the growing trend that parents desire more educational options so their child can access an education that suits their individual needs. The outdated, top-down methods of education that have been around for decades do not work for every child and parents are welcoming the expansion of school choice in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Parental Choice Program is for students who live outside the Milwaukee Public and Racine Unified School Districts and meet specific income criteria.

Private school choice is not new to Wisconsin with the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program being the longest running voucher program in the country, providing a high quality education to students for 25 years. Last year, this program had nearly 30,000 students.