"Parental Rights"

Endnotes


[1] Voucher school tuition data were collected from the Empowering Parents for Informed Choices in Education web site Public Policy Forum, and the schools themselves. Information on state voucher expenditures is taken from audited reports by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.


[2] Rachel Egen, Dwight Holmes & Elliot Mincberg, “The 40 Percent Surcharge: How Taxpayers Overpay for Milwaukee’s Private School Voucher Program,” People For the American Way Foundation, August 9, 2000


[3] Scott Milfred, “McCallum: Education Money Won’t be Slashed,” Wisconsin State Journal, January 19, 2002, accessed January 28, 2002.


[4] Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, “Korte Warns of Budget Deficit,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 26, 2001, p. 3b.


[5] Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, “Health Costs a Threat to MPS Budget,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 29, 2002, accessed February 2002.


[6] Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Policy and Budget Team, data made available January 18, 2001; “Education in Crisis: The State Budget Crunch & Our Nation’s Schools,” Democratic Staffs, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce, November 2001.


[7] Dennis Chaptman, “McCallum Says He Won’t Cut Funding For Schools,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 20, 2002, accessed February 2002.


[8] “A Quiz on School Funding in Wisconsin,” accessed January 2002. Data in web publication were obtained from General Accounting Office study entitled School Facilities: America’s Schools Report Differing Conditions, June 1996. (According to the GAO study, 33 percent of Wisconsin schools needed total replacement or extensive repair, and 49 percent needed extensive repair of at least one major building feature, such as a roof.)


[9] “Governor’s Veto Action Results in ‘Status Quo’ Budget for Education,” Wisconsin Education Association Council, August 2001, accessed January 30, 2002.


[10] Wisconsin Education Association Council and Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, “Are School Revenue Limits Limiting Learning?,” January 2001, p. 11, accessed February 2002.


[11] Dennis Chaptman, “McCallum Says He Won’t Cut Funding For Schools,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 20, 2002, accessed February 2002.


[12] Jennie Tunkieicz, “Burmeister Gauging Funding Needs,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 20, 2002, accessed February 2002.


[13] “Education in Crisis: The State Budget Crunch & Our Nation’s Schools,” Democratic Staffs, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce, November 2001.


[14] “Governor’s Veto Action Results in ‘Status Quo’ Budget for Education,” Wisconsin Education Association Council, August 2001, accessed January 30, 2002.


[15] Dennis Chaptman, “McCallum Says He Won’t Cut Funding For Schools,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 20, 2002, accessed February 2002.


[16] Steven Walters, Meg Jones and Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, “GOP Fix: Clamp Down on Spending,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 9, 2002, accessed February 2002.


[17] “The School Choice Windfall,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 10, 2000, accessed February 11, 2002.


[18] Steven Walters, Meg Jones and Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, “GOP Fix: Clamp Down on Spending,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 9, 2002, accessed February 2002.


[19] Wisconsin Education Association Council, “McCallum Joins Burmaster in Calling for Full SAGE Funding,” July 16, 2001, accessed February 12, 2002. Initially, the governor proposed cutting SAGE funding by about $37 million, but later reversed his position.


[20] “Achievement Gains Persist in Latest SAGE Study,” news release by the Education Policy Studies Laboratory, Arizona State University, January 21, 2002, accessed February 2002.


[21] DPI’s published voucher student enrollment data are based on the January headcount – which for the 1998-1999 school year was 6,050 and for the 1999-2000 school year was 7,884. In this study, for the purposes of calculating overpayment data, PFAWF uses the average of audited January and September enrollment headcount, which was 6,032 and 7,902 for the two years, respectively. DPI reports a “current year cost” for the voucher program of $28.4 million in 1998-1999, and $38.7 million for 1999-2000, totaling $67.1 million for the two years. These “current year cost” figures represent program expenditures recorded in that fiscal year but do not take into account the adjustments made to accounts after the audits are completed in the following year. Actual school-by-school Financial Information Reports for 1998-1999, current as of July 2000, show $25.9 million as the ‘actual, audited cost’ of the program, based on audited FTE enrollment data and audited per pupil expenditure data for each school. Financial Information Reports for 1999-2000, current as of July 2001, show $35.4 million as the ‘actual, audited cost’ of the program. Thus the total actual, audited cost of the program for 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 was $61.4 million. Milwaukee Parental School Choice Program (MPSCP), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, MPSCP Facts and Figures for 1998-1999, accessed November 2000. Milwaukee Parental School Choice Program (MPSCP), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, MPSCP Facts and Figures for 2000-2001, accessed January 2001.


[22] The two-year tuition overpayment of $27.9 million represents 42 percent of the “current year costs” ($67.1 million) and 46 percent of the actual, audited voucher program costs ($61.4 million).


[23] Milwaukee Parental School Choice Program (MPSCP), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, MPSCP Facts and Figures for 2000-2001, accessed January 2001.


[24] An Evaluation: Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, Report 00-2, Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau, Madison, WI, February 2000.


[25] John Witte, Troy D. Sterr and Christopher A. Thorn, Fifth Year Report: Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, December 1995, Executive Summary, p. 1.


[26] Rachel Egen, Dwight Holmes & Elliot Mincberg, “The 40 Percent Surcharge: How Taxpayers Overpay for Milwaukee’s Private School Voucher Program,” People For the American Way Foundation, August 9, 2000.


[27] MPSCP Facts and Figures for 1998-1999 and 1999-2000, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, accessed June 2000. In 1995, the Wisconsin legislature passed Act 27, which changed the funding formula, enabling schools to receive voucher payments in excess of their tuition costs.


[28] The maximum voucher amount increased to $5,326 in 2000-2001 and $5,553 in 2001-2002. Milwaukee Parental School Choice Program (MPSCP), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, MPSCP Facts and Figures for 2001-2002, accessed January 2001; Milwaukee Parental School Choice Program (MPSCP), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, MPSCP Facts and Figures for 2000-2001, accessed December 2001.


[29] Ohio’s voucher law guarantees that the state pays less than the private school’s tuition. Students from families with household incomes of up to 200 percent of the poverty level are eligible for a voucher that pays 90 percent of tuition; for students at or above 200 percent of the poverty level, the state pays 75 percent. In neither case do state taxpayers pay more than an individual citizen would pay to send his or her child to a private school. Furthermore, the maximum voucher is capped at $2,250. In Florida, the only statewide voucher program, the voucher’s cost is set at the public school district’s average pupil expenditure “or the amount of the private school’s tuition and fees, whichever is less.” In other words, the voucher may pay up to the cost of the school’s tuition and fees, provided it does not exceed the district average. If the district average exceeds tuition, the school cannot collect that extra money from the state. In neither Ohio nor Florida are taxpayers expected to make up the difference between what a private school chooses to charge for tuition and the amount it claims to spend to educate each student.


[30] PAVE was established in 1992, in part to allow students to attend religious schools initially not allowed to participate in the MPCP program. In 1998, the Wisconsin Supreme Court allowed the state’s Milwaukee voucher program to expand to include religious schools at which time many of the students previously utilizing PAVE scholarships applied for and received vouchers from MPCP. When distributing its privately-funded vouchers, PAVE utilized the state’s MPCP’s guidelines to determine student eligibility. However, unlike the state-funded MPCP vouchers, PAVE did not pay private schools any amount above tuition. Instead PAVE vouchers only paid for up to half of the school’s tuition. PAVE’s average elementary school half-tuition voucher was $825, and was capped at a maximum payment of $1,000; for high schools the PAVE average was $1,475, capped at $1,500. Parents were expected to pay the remaining balance of the tuition.


[31] “The School Choice Windfall,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 10, 2000, accessed February 11, 2002.


[32] Mark Johnson, “Voucher Funding Flawed, Critics Say: Report Claims State Overpaid $11 Million for School Choice Program,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2000. While the newspaper article criticized the PFAWF report because it opposes vouchers, the article did not question the research or data presented in the report.


[33] Chapter 115.28 (7)(e) of the state statute defines alternative education as an instructional program approved by the school board that utilizes successful alternative or adaptive school structures and teaching techniques, and is incorporated into traditional existing classroom or existing regularly scheduled curricular programs. Such programs do not include private school or home-based educational programs. Local school districts usually are responsible for funding their own alternative education programs. Wisconsin Legislative Agenda Progress Report and Policy Paper, Wisconsin Education Association Council, accessed December 2001.


[34] Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, “Sixty Schools Share $5 Million in Alternative Education Grants,” accessed January 2002.


[35] Joanne M. Haas, “Special Education Funding Shortfall is Hurting All Schoolchildren, Legislative Committee is Told,” Wisconsin Education Association Council, accessed December 2001; Joanne M. Haas, “Bill Would Ease Special Education Woes,” Wisconsin Education Association Council, accessed December 2001.


[36] ibid.


[37] National Education Association, Modernizing Our Schools: What Will It Cost?, May 3, 2000. The report estimates include $4.8 billion for infrastructure costs and $ 955 million for technology.
Accessed January 2002.


[38] Dennis Chaptman, “McCallum Says He Won’t Cut Funding For Schools,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 20, 2002, accessed February 2002.


[39] “Governor’s Veto Action Results in ‘Status Quo’ Budget for Education,” Wisconsin Education Association Council, August 2001, accessed January 30, 2002; Relief from Revenue Caps, Wisconsin Education Association Council, accessed December 2001.


[40] As explained in footnote 22, the total voucher overpayments of $27.9 million represent 42 percent of the two-year “current year costs” and 46 percent of the two-year actual, audited costs of the voucher program.


[41] $16,422,900 is a midpoint estimate, the use of which is necessitated by the fact that 31 religious schools report differential tuition rates for parishioners and non-parishioners whereby, generally, parishioners are charged less for tuition than non-parishioners. Since actual parishioner/non-parishioner enrollment information is not available, the average of these two tuition rates was used. The calculation of $16,422,900 as the amount of the tuition overpayment assumes, therefore, that half of the voucher students are parishioners and half are non-parishioners. If the majority of voucher students in parish schools are in fact parish members, then the amount of the overpayment is considerably higher. See Explanatory Notes at the end of the Appendix for a complete explanation of the use of this average, and the estimated high-low range of the voucher surcharge.


[42] This figure is also based on the average of high and low tuition in the case of the 31 dual tuition religious schools. The high-low tuition range for dual tuition schools is further discussed in Explanatory Notes.


[43] Since tuition data are available for only 82 schools, the average tuition or ‘cost of tuition’ data presented in this report are derived by assuming that, for those nine schools with no tuition or for which there are no available tuition data, tuition equals the voucher amount. The implicit assumption is, therefore, that those schools have an overpayment of $0. Whatever the actual tuition charged at these schools, the amount of overpayment can only be more, it cannot be less. Thus, the estimated total tuition overpayment of $16.4 million is a conservative figure.


[44] The average overpayment is as applied to all 7,902 voucher students, although only 6,657 voucher students attended the 75 schools receiving overpayments during the 1999-2000 school year. The average overpayment per voucher student in just these 75 schools is $2,581 during the 1999-2000 school year, higher than the overall average of $2,184.


[45] The figures in this table utilize the parishioner/non-parishioner tuition average to calculate total subsidy. The religious school column encompasses 31 dual tuition and 37 single tuition schools that receive a tuition overpayment. The range of average tuition and tuition overpayments – i.e., both parishioner and non-parishioner tuition rates – for these 31 dual-tuition religious schools are as follows:


Parishioner Tuition Non-Parishioner Tuition
Average Voucher Payment $4,233
$4,233

Average Tuition
$1,492
$2,105

Surcharge (Overpayment)
$2,741
$2,128


[46] Data in Table 3 are for the 75 schools – out of 91 participating voucher schools – in the 1999-2000 school year that received a payment in excess of school tuition, (see Explanatory Notes for an explanation of the number of participating schools). Of those 75 schools, 61 are religious and 14 non-religious (see Table 1).


[47] The figures in Table 4 utilize the parishioner/non-parishioner tuition average to calculate total subsidy for the schools that reported dual tuition rates. See Explanatory Notes for fuller explanation. The high-low ranges for the 31 dual-tuition religious schools in 1999-2000 are as follows:


Parishioner Tuition Non-Parishioner Tuition

Voucher Student Enrollment
2,448
2,448

Voucher Payment
$10,321,498
$10,321,498

Cost of Tuition
$4,127,372
$4,810,955

Surcharge (Overpayment)
$6,194,126
$5,510,543


[48] Table 4 presents data for all schools that received a voucher payments in excess of school tuition – 62 of the 82 schools in 1998-1999 and 75 of the 91 schools in 1999-2000. Of those overpayment schools, 54 are religious and 8 non-religious in the first year, and 61 are religious and 14 non-religious in the second.

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