Laughing all the way to the bank: 67% of voucher applicants ALREADY attend private schools

In a recent report from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction reveals that over 76% of applicants to the amped-up voucher program implemented by Gov. Scott Walker and his political cronies do not attend regular public schools.  Of these, a whopping 67.3% (!) already attend private schools, with the remainder being home-schooled, attending no school, or out of state applicants.  A paltry 24.3%(503 applicants) currently attend regular public school.

This means a few things:
  1. Wisconsin parents and Wisconsin students do NOT believe Wisconsin schools (which lead the nation in graduation rates) are "failing" as our governor and his cronies like to pretend, and are not clamoring over each other to "save" their kids by pushing them into questionably accredited, science-optional, no-accountability private voucher schools like Walker predicted they would.  Nor do they believe the myth that private schools are inherently superior to public schools. Because they aren't.
  2. Vouchers are not the "choice" of high-need, low-income taxpayers that we were told (by Walker, and his funders and the mainstream media) they would be.  They are the choice of people who could already afford to send their kids to private schools, who are now taking advantage of the outrageous double-dip that is their massive $10,000 tax break for private school tuition coupled with a expansion of the voucher program than allows a government handout in the form of a $6400 coupon toward their  kids' education, paid for by the rest of us and siphoned out of the public education fund for the rest of our kids.
  3. It pays to support Scott Walker.  The special interest groups and profiteers who paid so richly to ensure Scott Walker and his cronies remain in office are seeing some very generous returns on their "investment."  At our expense, and at the expense of quality public education statewide.
  4. People who care about public education would be wise to look for - and hold accountable - candidates who agree that Wisconsin cannot afford to subsidize private school for the rich AND public school for the rest of us.  Because if people who care about public education vote, people who put profits before our children - and our collective future - lose.


  1. So 503 of 1,968 applicants who had attended school the prior year had attended public schools.

    If we're talking $6,400 vouchers, then in order for the public school system to break even on the deal it must cost at least $6,400 x 1,968 / 503 = $25,040 to educate each public school student.

    This ignores the rather important point that the marginal saving by no longer educating a voucher student in a pre-existing public school is by no means equal to the average cost of educating students. I don't think I've heard anyone claim that even such an inflated cost as that is anywhere close to $25,000/yr.

  2. Your logic is persuasive, but I suggest we account for the freedom that the 24,3% gain. Why should any percentage of students not be entitled to free choice? Where does the boundary of forced decisions end, and begin before we say its fair ( according to your logic). I believe that no percentage of students be denied autonomy in pursuing knowledge, thus even if only 5% were from the public schools, this 5% is still inportant, and thier right of free choice and pursuit of happiness, should be respected.

    Furthermore, another aspect of the issue is that, even parents with children formerly in private schools, are tax paying citizens, whos property taxes already go to support a government managed school system, that they are not getting value from ( their POV). They are just as entitled to enjoy, or benefit as any other parents in the community.