- MPSCP Facts and Figures for 1998-99, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
- “An Evaluation: Milwaukee Parental Choice Program,” Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau, February 2000, Letter of Transmittal, State of Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau, from Janice Mueller, State Auditor, to Senator Gary George and Rep. Carol Kelso, Co-chairpersons, Joint Legislative Audit Committee, p.p. 1, 33; Executive Summary.
- Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, Fifth Year Report, John Witte, December 1995, Executive Summary, p. 1.
- Milwaukee Parental School Choice Program (MPSCP), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, MPSCP Facts and Figures for 1999-2000.
- PAVE was established in 1992, in part to allow students to attend religious schools that were not then 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, whereupon many of the students previously utilizing PAVE scholarships applied and received vouchers from MPCP. PAVE has been characterized by some as a pro-voucher organization that helped heighten demand and pressure for publicly funded vouchers for religious schools. This assertion is supported by the fact that PAVE’s primary funding source is the unabashedly pro-voucher Bradley Foundation, whose president and CEO helped found PAVE and has as head of the foundation underwritten several million dollars in grants to the fledgling organization.
- “Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program: Special Audit Report, July 1, 1995 through June 30, 1998,” Auditor of State, State of Ohio, p. 6; Ohio Department of Education News Release, “Statement by the Ohio Department of Education on Today’s School Voucher Ruling,” December 21, 1999.
- Fla. Stat. § 229.0537 (6) (a) 1 (1999). The Florida law distinguishes between different groups of students regarding the district’s average expenditure; for example, students with disabilities who are entitled to additional funds in the public school district receive their per-pupil share of these funds through the voucher allocation formula. The Florida law states: “The maximum opportunity scholarship granted for an eligible student shall be a calculated amount equivalent to the base student allocation multiplied by the appropriate cost factor for the educational program that would have been provided for the student in the district school to which he or she was assigned, multiplied by the district cost differential. In addition, the calculated amount shall include the per-student share of instructional materials funding, technology funding, and other categorical funds as provided for this purpose in the General Appropriations Act. The amount of the opportunity scholarship shall be the calculated amount or the amount of the private school’s tuition and fees, whichever is less…the public or private school that provides services to students with disabilities shall receive the weighted funding for such services at the appropriate funding level consistent with the provisions of s. 236.025 [emphasis added].
- Information available from PAVE website (main page) and PAVE Schools page for information on average payment.
- According to the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau’s school profiles (Appendix I), 16 religious schools have dual tuition rates, with 15 of the 16 offering lower rates to parish members. Since parishioner/non-parishioner enrollment information is not available, the average of these two tuition rates was used. Utilizing this average may understate the size of the taxpayer overpayment if the majority of voucher students in parish schools are parish members. See Sources of Data at the end of this report for a complete explanation of the use of this average.
- This figure is also based on the average of high and low tuition in the case of the 16 dual tuition religious schools.
- There is a slight discrepancy with regard to one high voucher enrollment school that did not report tuition: the Texas Bufkin school reported in the audit that all its students were voucher students (though it did not provide a figure for total enrollment). According to DPI, however, total enrollment (Full Time Equivalent) was 49 while voucher enrollment was 37.9 (a voucher enrollment rate of 78 percent). This may be due to inaccurate reporting and/or because the audit and DPI counts are done differently. Nonetheless, we have grouped Texas Bufkin with the high voucher enrollment schools, as the 78 percent voucher enrollment still constitutes the vast majority of its revenue. Two of the 12 schools that did not provide tuition information reported that all non-voucher students “participated in the MPS Partnership Program,” in which the Milwaukee Public School District contracts with a private school for a student. Therefore, tuition is a moot point for these schools as well.
- In fact, it may be that fully 100 percent of these 9 schools received vouchers that exceeded their tuition; the Marva Collins Preparatory school did not provide a dollar amount for tuition but instead reported that “Tuition was based on a sliding fee scale.” It may well be that this school, along with the others, charges a tuition that amounts to less than its expenses.
- The figures in this table utilize the parishioner/non-parishioner tuition average to calculate total subsidy. The Religious School column encompasses the 16 dual tuition and 38 single tuition schools that receive a tuition overpayment. The range of average tuition and tuition overpayments—i.e. at both parishioner and non-parishioner tuition rates—for these 16 dual-tuition religious schools are as follows:
Difference Between Voucher and Tuition (Taxpayer Overpayment)
- Data in this table are for the 62 schools that received a taxpayer subsidy in excess of school tuition, out of the 82 schools that participated in the voucher program for the 1998-99 school year (see Sources of Data for an explanation of the number of participating schools). Of those 62 schools, 54 are religious, 8 non-religious.
- As explained more fully in Sources of Data, the precise amount of the total taxpayer subsidy is between $11,277,000 and $11,754,000, as a result of the fact that 16 schools have dual tuition rates. See Sources of Data for a fuller explanation.
- MPSCP Facts and Figures for 1998-99, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, accessed June 2000.
- The lower estimate assumes that 100 percent of the voucher students in the schools reporting two levels of tuition – a lower one for parishioners and a higher one for non-parishioners – are non-parishioners (in which case their tuition would be higher and the resulting overpayment would be lower); the higher estimate assumes that 100 percent of the voucher students in those schools are parishioners (resulting in lower tuition and higher overpayment). See Sources of Data.
- Dollar values rounded to nearest hundred.
- The figures in this table utilize the parish/non-parish tuition average to calculate total subsidy for the 16 schools that reported dual tuition rates in the audit. See Sources of Data for fuller explanation. The high-low ranges (rounded to the nearest hundred dollars) for these 16 dual-tuition religious schools are as follows:
Voucher Student Enrollment
$2,858,500 Voucher payment if limited to level of tuition
- This table reflects all schools that received a taxpayer subsidy in excess of school tuition, in all, 62 of the 82 schools analyzed in this report. Of those 62 schools, 54 are religious, 8 non-religious. Within the religious school category, 16 offer dual tuition rates and 38 do not.
- See Sources of Data for complete explanation of enrollment information.
- St. Peter-Immanuel web page, accessed July 2000. EPIC (Empowering Parents for Informed Choices in Education) is a joint project of a number of organizations set up to provide information on public and private schools in Milwaukee. Its main page notes that EPIC is a warehouse for information on voucher schools, but that “[i]ndividual schools are responsible for the accuracy
and reliability of the information” in the database.
- Parklawn Christian School page, accessed July 2000.
- Yeshiva Elementary School page, accessed July 2000.
- Holy Redeemer Christian Academy web page, accessed July 2000.
- Clara Muhammad School page, accessed July 2000.
- “Exploring Parents’ Educational Choices,” The Public Policy Forum, April 2000, p. 10.
- Nazareth Lutheran School web page, accessed July 2000.
- PFAWF/NAACP Administrative Complaint to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, August 19, 1999 p.p. 9-10.
- “Exploring Parents’ Educational Choices,” The Public Policy Forum, April 2000, p. 6.
- Financial Information Reports, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
- All schools receive payments throughout the year based on the maximum voucher amount—in the 1998-99 school year, upon a voucher worth $4,894. Each school then contracts an independent auditor to determine the school’s per-pupil expenditure (PPE). These audits are submitted to DPI, which then checks the data against its own records. Any school that spent less than $4,894 owes the difference between its PPE and $4,894 back to the state. Money owed to voucher schools was generally the result of inaccurate pupil counts that were corrected in the audit process—for example, if a student attended a voucher school that year, but was somehow missed in the school’s count, the school will be owed that student’s PPE at the end of the year. The only exception to this was one school that specifically requested less than $4,894, though it was owed money at the end of the year because it had underestimated its total expenses. (Source: Wisconsin DPI).
- This fact was the actual explanation for the return of some state funds by voucher schools at the end of the 1998-99 school year, as reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (“Half of Choice Schools Spend Less than State Allots,” May 21, 2000). The article mistakenly suggested that this extra money was because the private schools were run more efficiently, rather than explaining that the extra money was a function of fluctuating enrollment, and an end of the year calculation as to what the schools were entitled to from the state. Although the article indicated that 39 schools owed funds to DPI, DPI has confirmed that 37 actually owed such funds.
- Milwaukee Parental School Choice Program (MPSCP), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, MPSCP Facts and Figures for 1999-2000, accessed July 2000.