MADISON — Public school districts and taxpayers across the state could feel the impact of vouchers this year, as more than $16 million is transferred from public schools to pay for new entrants into the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program.
State law now requires public school districts to pay for vouchers. The money will be deducted from state aid.
A total of 142 public school districts have students who use taxpayer-funded subsidies to attend private schools. The state deducted $16.1 million in aid to cover the cost of new voucher students, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
First, let us remember that while the school district will not get the state aid associated with the voucher student, neither does the school district have to educate the student. They will incur exactly zero cost to educate the cost and will consequently not receive any state aid for that kid’s education. Meanwhile, the school that is educating the student will receive the state money allocated to provide that education. Seems like a reasonable deal to me.
Second, remember how incredibly tiny the state voucher program is. Last year the state spent $5.3 billion on state aid for school districts. $16.1 million is 0.3% of all state aid. I think the state’s public education infrastructure will survive.