Thursday, January 30, 2020
DPI Media Line, (608) 266-3559
MADISON — Twenty-five private nonsectarian and religious schools have registered with the Department of Public Instruction to accept students through the Racine Parental Choice Program for the 2020-21 school year.
The RPCP allows students residing in the Racine Unified School District who meet certain eligibility requirements to receive a taxpayer subsidized voucher to attend participating private schools. To qualify for the program in the 2020-21 school year, a new student must come from a family whose income is equal to or less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($77,250 for a family of four, or $84,250 if the child’s parents or guardians are married).
Generally, for the RPCP, students must be applying to 4- or 5-year-old kindergarten or first or ninth grades; or meet one of the following requirements for the prior school year: (a) attended a public school in Wisconsin; (b) attended school in another state; (c) not enrolled in school; (d) participated in the choice program; or (e) on a choice waiting list. Parents or guardians seeking to enroll their children in a private school participating in the RPCP this fall must apply using the online application available at dpi.wi.gov/choice. After completing the online application, parents or guardians must provide residency and income documentation (if applicable) to the school(s) they apply to before the close of the application period.
The private school, on behalf of each student’s parent or guardian, receives a state aid payment for each eligible choice student. The payment, set in state law, is estimated to be $8,300 for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and $8,946 for students in ninth through 12th grades for the 2020-21 school year. Eligible students in kindergarten through eighth grade may attend the private school with no charge for tuition. Eligible students in ninth through 12th grades may be charged tuition if their family’s income exceeds 220 percent of the federal poverty level ($56,650 for a family of four, or $63,650 if the child’s parents or guardians are married). Students must reapply to the program each year; however, students continuing in the program do not have to meet the 300 percent of poverty level income limit.
When registering with the DPI, each participating private school selects which open application period(s) it will accept student applications. Schools are limited to accepting applications only during that time. If the number of eligible student applications received during a specified open application period exceeds choice enrollment limits at the private school, the school must use a random selection process to determine which students will attend under the choice program. Choice schools must send written notification of students’ acceptance or denial within 60 days of the end of the application period during which an application is received.
A list of schools planning to participate in the RPCP for the 2020-21 school year, including the schools’ open application periods, can be found by clicking here.