We should work hard to make sure our public commitment to provide a free education to kids follows them to schools that are willing to teach them.
MILWAUKEE — As school districts continue to release plans for the start of the year, parents are quickly making decisions on their children’s education. It’s creating a trend across the country, including Wisconsin, with a lot of kids transferring to private schools with in-person instruction.
Head of School at Milwaukee Montessori, Monica Van Aken, said since early July they’ve seen a 15 to 20 percent increase in enrollment for first through sixth grade compared to the same time last year, with parents specifically looking for in-person learning.
St. Robert School in Shorewood and the University School of Milwaukee also told TMJ4 News, they’ve seen unusual spikes in enrollment for this time of the year.
A spokesperson for the University School released a statement saying in part, they “have had more inquiries in the last two weeks than in any other two-week period in at least the last six years.”
Jim Bender of School Choice Wisconsin, a nonprofit that works with private schools, said the trend towards private schools is widespread, even if it means paying tuition.
“It’s something new. You don’t see just real dramatic changes in enrollment like this happening right now,” Bender said.
Though, he also said it could have an impact on public schools.
“When that student is no longer enrolled in that public school district, that public school district will no longer get funding for that student,” Bender said.