Thursday, January 30, 2020
DPI Media Line, (608) 266-3559
MADISON — Two hundred eighty-six private nonsectarian and religious schools and school systems registered with the Department of Public Instruction to accept students through the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program for the 2020-21 school year.
Ten schools that previously participated in either the Milwaukee or Racine Parental Choice programs, or both, are new registrants to the WPCP. Additionally, there are 26 new private schools registered to participate in the statewide voucher program for 2020-21.
The WPCP allows students who reside outside of the city of Milwaukee and Racine Unified School District to receive a taxpayer subsidized voucher to attend participating private schools. Enrollment in the statewide voucher program in 2020-21 is limited to 5 percent of a school district’s student population. To qualify for the program for the 2020-21 school year, a new student must have a family income equal to or less than 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).
Generally, for the statewide choice program for the 2020-21 school year, students must (1) be applying to 4- or 5-year-old kindergarten or first or ninth grades; or (2) 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; or (3) on any prior year WPCP waiting list in 2015-16 or later due to a school district enrollment cap.
Parents or guardians seeking to enroll their children in a private school participating in the statewide voucher program for the 2020-21 school year must complete the online application at dpi.wi.gov/sms/choice-programs/student-applications between Feb. 3 and April 16, 2020. 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 on April 16.
Eligible students in kindergarten through eighth grade may attend the private school without charge for tuition. Continuing choice students in ninth through 12th grades may be charged tuition if their family 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). 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.
A list of schools planning to participate in the WPCP for the 2020-21 school year follows. Schools marked with an asterisk (*) will be new to the WPCP in fall 2020. Schools new to the program for fall 2020 must obtain pre-accreditation by Aug. 1, 2020, if they are not already fully accredited. Prior to being eligible to receive voucher payments from the state, new schools must, by May 1, submit information regarding their budget or surety bond. They must also submit, by August 1, documentation of their insurance coverage and academic standards.
A list of schools planning to participate in the MPCP for the 2020-21 school year, including the schools’ open application periods, can be found by clicking here.