Education A State Capitals Roundup

Milwaukee Nears Limit on Vouchers

November 08, 2005 1 min read

Wisconsin education officials have ordered private schools in Milwaukee to stop accepting voucher students because enrollment in the city’s state- established tuition-aid program is nearing state-imposed enrollment caps.

Deputy state schools Superintendent Anthony S. Evers wrote in an Oct. 25 letter to Milwaukee private schools that they were prohibited from enrolling any further students under the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program for the 2005-06 school year.

It’s the first time enrollment in the program has reached its statutory limit: 15 percent of the city’s public school enrollment, or 14,751 full-time slots for this school year. The vouchers are worth about $6,000 for each student.

“We deeply regret that this day has arrived and know that it poses real hardships for families and schools,” Susan Mitchell, the president of School Choice Wisconsin, a voucher-advocacy group based in Milwaukee, said in a statement.

Enrollment caps for the program could be a major topic in Wisconsin’s 2006 legislative session. While some Republican lawmakers want to eliminate or raise the caps, Democratic Gov. James E. Doyle opposes lifting them.

A version of this article appeared in the November 09, 2005 edition of Education Week