American Federation for Children: Under Tony Evers, school choice continues to grow

Contact:
Call: (202) 280-1990
Email: TSchultz@federationforchildren.org

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, headed by Tony Evers, has released their annual student enrollment data showing once again that parents are embracing options and exercising what is best for their individual children’s needs.

Statement from Justin Moralez, State Director of the Wisconsin Federation for Children: 

“We find it astounding that Tony Evers’ own department has documented year after year that more and more Wisconsin families continue to seek out private school choice options – and yet he wants to force those families out of their school of choice. It should come across as a personal affront to these families that a politician thinks he knows what is better for a child than their own parent.”

“This report is positive news for anybody that wants to see investment in all children’s future, regardless of zip code or income. Not a single parent is mandated to participate in school choice, yet for twenty-nine years, we have seen a continuous trend of parents embracing the choice programs exponentially. Those trends have continued as Tony Evers has been in charge.”

Details:

The parental choice program has grown to include four different programs, including the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, Racine Parental Choice Program, Wisconsin Parental Choice Program and the Special Needs Scholarship.

Current DPI enrollment figures as reported are (in comparison to last year):

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: 28,917 (+237)
Racine Parental Choice Program: 3,324 (+321)
Wisconsin Parental Choice Program: 7,140 (+2,606)
Special Needs Program: 692 (+446)

– The largest gains can be seen in the Special Needs Scholarship program, which serves students who have been identified with an IEP. These are students who need the most amount of individualized learning options available to them.

– While the program continues to grow, last available figures show that those receiving a voucher still only make up less than 4% of the overall state education budget.

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