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RACINE — Three new private and parochial schools have registered this year to take voucher students through the Racine Parental Choice Program.

A total of 27 schools have signed on to participate in the program in the 2019-2020 school year, one more than this year. Schools new to the program are Bethany Lutheran School in Kenosha, Martin Luther High School in Greendale and Saint Thomas More High School in Milwaukee.

A total of 134 schools have signed up to participate in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program in the coming year, and 262 institutions have registered to participate in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program, for students who live in neither Racine or Milwaukee. Wisconsin Lutheran School in Racine is one of 40 schools new to the WPCP this year.

Choice in Racine

The RPCP gives students who live in the Racine Unified School District and meet certain eligibility requirements the chance to receive a taxpayer-subsidized voucher to attend participating private or religious schools.

To qualify for the program in the 2019-20 school year, a new student’s family income must be equal to or less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $75,300 for a family of four or $82,300 if the child’s parents or guardians are married.

Typically to qualify, RPCP students must apply to 4- or 5-year-old kindergarten or grades one or nine. Otherwise, they must meet one of the following requirements for the prior school year:

  • Attended a public school in Wisconsin
  • Attended school in another state
  • Not enrolled in school
  • Participated in the choice program
  • On a choice waiting list

Parents who want to enroll their child in a private or religious school participating in the RPCP, WPCP or MPCP next fall should apply using the online parent application. Enrollment begins Friday, Feb. 1.

How it works

For each eligible voucher student enrolled, the participating private school receives a state aid payment. Per state law, this school year the payments are $7,754 for students in kindergarten through grade eight and $8,400 for students in grades nine through 12.

Eligible students in kindergarten through eighth grade can attend the participating private school of their choice, free of charge. Eligible high school students may be charged tuition if their family income exceeds 220 percent of the federal poverty level — $55,220 for a family of four or $62,220 if the child’s parents or guardians are married. Students must reapply to the program each year, but those continuing in the program do not have to meet the 300 percent of poverty level income limit.

Participation

For the current school year’s third Friday in September enrollment count, the Racine voucher program had 3,324 students, or the full-time equivalent of 3,241 students. Last year, 3,007 students participated. Taxpayer costs for the 2017-18 school year were $21.9 million. The RPCP began in the 2011-12 school year, and since its inception through last school year, payments to private and religious schools in Racine for the voucher program total $79.2 million.

Schools signed on for the RPCP in 2019-20

  • Academy of Excellence,, 1236 West Pierce St., Milwaukee
  • Badger State Baptist School 8519 South 13th St., Oak Creek
  • Bethany Lutheran School, 2100 75th St., Kenosha
  • Catholic Central High School, 148 McHenry St., Burlington
  • CERT School 2224, West Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee
  • Concordia Lutheran School, 8500 Durand Ave., Sturtevant
  • EverGreen Academy 3351, Chicory Road, Mount Pleasant
  • Lutheran School, 5043 20th Ave., Kenosha
  • Grace Lutheran School, 8537 South Pennsylvania Ave., Oak Creek
  • Guidance Academy, 1800 16th Ave., South Milwaukee
  • HOPE Christian School: Via, 3502 Douglas Ave., Racine
  • Luther Preparatory School, 1300 Western Ave., Watertown
  • Lutheran High School Association of Racine, 251 Luedtke Ave.,Racine
  • Martin Luther High School, 5201 South 76th St., Greendale
  • Our Father’s Lutheran School, 6023 South 27th St., Greenfield
  • Racine Christian School, 912 Virginia St., Racine
  • Renaissance School 6150, Taylor Ave., Racine
  • Saint John’s Lutheran School, 510 Kewaunee St., Racine
  • Saint Matthew School, 9329 South Chicago Road, Oak Creek
  • Saint Thomas More High School, 2601 East Morgan Ave., Milwaukee
  • Shoreland Lutheran High School, 9026 12th St., Somers
  • Siena Catholic Schools of Racine Inc., 1220 Villa St., Racine
  • Trinity Lutheran School, 7900 Nicholson Road, Caledonia
  • Trinity Lutheran School, 2065 Geneva St., Racine
  • Victory Christian Academy, 6021 West Lincoln Ave., West Allis
  • Wisconsin Lutheran School, 734 Villa St., Racine
  • Word of Life Evangelical Lutheran School, 3545 South 23rd St., Milwaukee

Racine County schools signed on for WPCP in 2019-20

  • Burlington Catholic School, 449 Conkey St., Burlington
  • Catholic Central High School, 148 McHenry St., Burlington
  • Renaissance School, 6150 Taylor Ave., Racine
  • Saint John’s Lutheran School, 198 Westridge Ave., Burlington
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas School, 302 South 2nd St., Waterford
  • Trinity Lutheran School, 7900 Nicholson Road, Caledonia
  • Wisconsin Lutheran School, 734 Villa St., Racine

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Reporter

Caitlin Sievers covers cops, crime and the west-end communities. She's a lover of cats, dance and Harry Potter. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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