As many of you are, I am a Wisconsin taxpayer. Most of us would be unhappy if we understood that during the 2018-2019 school year, we would be paying an estimated $302 million dollars to private and religious schools under the State of Wisconsin Parental Choice Program. This is money taken from public schools and given to choice schools. This and the following figures are taken from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
All of the following figures are estimates for the 2018-2019 school year:
- Racine Parental Choice Program (PCP) = $25,600,000
- Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (PCP) = $221,800,000
- Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (PCP) = $54,600,000
In all three programs, a student in grades K-8 receives $7,754, and a student in grades nine through 12 receives $8,400.
Student eligibility for a voucher is determined by a family’s income. In the statewide voucher program for a family of four, a student would receive a voucher if family income does not exceed $55,220. In both the Racine and Milwaukee voucher programs, the income requirement for a family of four cannot exceed $75,000.
Wisconsin taxpayers cannot afford to support dual school systems. Public taxpayer money should be used to pay for public purposes, not to subsidize private and religious institutions. Furthermore, public funds that go to voucher schools should be on our property tax bills at the end of the year to provide true transparency.
Voucher and for-profit charter schools were designed to privatize and erode public schools. Let’s freeze these schools now!
Joseph Kiemen, Racine