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0759, 13 Aug 20

Parents Flock to Private Schools as Public Schools Abandon Duty to Education

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.


0759, 13 August 2020


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Liberal behavior has been shocking.

    Trying to keep vouchers out of private schools with a “How dare you” attitude, but then shirk responsibility with public education.

    Shameful!  Just shameful!

  2. Le Roi du Nord

    An alternate headline, and one more sinister: “Private schools ignore science and medical professionals, put students and staff in peril”.

  3. Mark Hoefert

    Might be a major tipping point at hand.

    Like all the rich people leaving locked-down locales, parents removing kids from locked-down public schools have scared public officials. If just 10 percent of public-school kids homeschool or join a private school for two years, that is a watershed moment for the social undercurrent of animosity towards public schools.

    Ironically, at the article there is a picture of Milwaukee teachers with a fake tombstone at a protest against reopening the schools.  The epithet says “Here Lies a Third Grade Student From Green Bay Who Caught COVID at School”.

    Just a few hours ago I had posted this at a local school related FB page in response to a mother had said it was not worth the risk of sending your kids to die:  “As of date, 8273 children in WI have tested positive. 0 children in that category have died.”   The age range was 0-19.  I see the mother has deleted the comment that I responded to.

  4. Mar

    But of course our local racists don’t want little Black or Brown students who are poor to join them.

  5. jjf

    While the kid death stats are in plain view, so is the idea that kids will spread it among themselves and all the adults on school staff, then bring it home to their families.  Parents and grandparents will be at risk.  I think it’s also not hard to imagine that as more kids get it, a few may die, and then this will grab media attention.

  6. Kevin Scheunemann


    No one forces kids to go to private school you dishonest piece of flotsam!

    Not to many of your awful comments set me off, but that was one of them.

    Your incivility knows no bounds.



  7. Mar

    jjf, so permanently close all schools?
    That is you are saying.
    There are always going to be diseases at schools that kids being home that will cause other people to get sick and die.
    Maybe that is the liberal wet dream. Make a generation of people permanently stupid.

  8. Mark Hoefert

    jf, so permanently close all schools?That is you are saying.

    I would not have a problem with schools being shut down – furlough the staff and give the kids a gap year.  That seems to be the only clear path to meeting that gold standard where no one dies or catches the bug due to school related exposures.

    Easy for me to say – don’t have any children or grandchildren going to school.

    Might not be so easy for those parents who have to get out to make a living. You know, the ones in “essential occupations” who are currently out in the wild at risk of catching the virus that most likely will not harm their children but might be a threat to maw-maw and paw-paw.


  9. Owen

    shut down – furlough the staff and give the kids a gap year

    That seems to be the rub. These schools want full pay and support – some want more money to handle the “new normal” – while providing a sub-standard product.

    At the end of the day, parents love their kids, value education, and know the risks. They are voting with their feet. But these are big decisions. Not every family can pick up and move from Milwaukee to West Bend overnight. I expect that this will be a trend that lasts several years as families move out of cities and/or into private education as their circumstances allow it. This is especially true as more and more employers have a more permanent virtual contingent of their workforces. There’s no incentive for an employee of Northwestern Mutual to live in Milwaukee to commute to that beautiful downtown office building if they can work from their basement in Ripon just as easily.

  10. Owen

    And I should add that as a taxpayer, I don’t want to pay for schools that don’t provide an education. I want to pay to actually educate kids.

  11. Mar

    If schools go virtual, then start laying off teachers and other staff.
    1 elementary grade teacher per grade for every 2 schools.
    In junior high and high school, 1 teacher per subject.
    No need for paraprofessionals and classroom aides.
    No need for custodians.
    Once the layoffs begin, teachers will suddenly change their tune.

  12. Le Roi du Nord


    Could you point out, for the benefit of all the truthful folks here, where I said that anyone forces kids to go to private schools?   Be specific, and truthful.

    Feeble attempt at the insult.  But we know you can’t do better.

    And since I didn’t call anyone names, how was I uncivil, as opposed to you, who did?    More use of k’s flexible dictionary.

  13. Kevin Scheunemann


    Not going to school puts kids in peril.

    Quit being dishonest.


  14. Tuerqas

    Once the layoffs begin, teachers will suddenly change their tune.

    I don’t know, nothing else has ever changed their tune.  It had to be torn out of their hands, changed and then forced back into those hands while they were still kicking and screaming.  And as long as they can deficit spend, will their employers (not us) actually stop paying them?  Wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth.  All those hours and emotional outpouring to get the former Superintendent of schools into the Governors office, only to be let go by him.

  15. Merlin

    There is no reason to fund closed schools beyond skeletal maintenance of facilities. Turn off the spigot until they deem the world safe enough to resume educating children. That’s life in the real world.

  16. Tuerqas

    Except, we are still paying them…I have rarely found Government to have ‘reasons’ outside of individual self interest.  Nor does Government often live ‘in the real world’.  In our real world, the spigot would have run dry a long time ago.

    And actually the idea is not at all foreign to them.  They are already paid a year of wages for 180 days of work plus some in-service and other days.

  17. jjf

    Tuerqas, teachers are paid to do a particular job.  Why are you concerned with how many days of school there are for students, when you clearly understand that any teacher works other days as well, and perhaps even more hours in any work day than eight.  The “real world” has plenty of people who are paid an annual salary, aren’t on the clock (whether it’s days or hours) and who don’t have someone else dictating when their vacation days fall.

    Schools are in the Wisconsin Constitution. “Section 3. The legislature shall provide by law for the establishment of district schools, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable; and such schools shall be free and without charge for tuition to all children between the ages of 4 and 20 years; …”

    So on what basis do you want to shut them down, if the school board and admins decide they want to do virtual instead of in-person given the risks?

  18. Mar

    Le Roi, everytime you lie, you are being uncivil.
    Everytime you take a person’s remark out of context, you are uncivil.
    You are a very uncivil person.

  19. Le Roi du Nord


    So you made up your original claim about me, and rather than acknowledging your error, and setting the record straight, you make up another bogus claim.  Do you think the smart folks believe anything you say?

  20. Le Roi du Nord


    Then, by using your standards, both you and k are on the top of the list for incivility.  Congratulations on finally being on top.

  21. Tuerqas

    Yep jjf, just being snarky.  Never said I wanted schools shut down, I said don’t pay school staff for not working, like everyone else who lost their jobs due to Covid.  Because education is not free, teachers are paid from my taxes.  I lose my job and still have to pay their salaries for not working?  That doesn’t make sense either.  Home schooling by family, tutor or professional teachers?  Not against it at all, other than I should be able to pay less in taxes for services not being offered, and the working parents are offered some type of alternative that allows to still work instead of staying home to watch their kids.

  22. jjf

    Which teachers are “not working”?

  23. Tuerqas

    Most electives that require supplies like art and band.  Gym teachers are right out, food people, janitorial staff, the majority of administrators, should I continue?  I had thought of more than that this morning.

    I have seen that private businesses and organizations have stepped up to fill a lot of those gaps, but it is not being done by teachers.

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