Wisconsin

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

Milwaukee families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines qualify to receive vouchers. Once a student receives a voucher, that student is able to keep it, regardless of his or her family's future income. Voucher students are allowed to attend any participating private school in the state.   In 2014-15, the maximum voucher amount is $7,210 for grades K-8 and $7,856 for grades 9-12. Beginning in 2015-16, maximum voucher payments increase by a percentage equal to the percentage increase in general school aid to Wisconsin public schools. The voucher may not exceed the private school's per student costs, including operating expenses and debt service. Parents of students in grades 9-12 that have an income greater than 220 percent of the federal poverty level ($52,470 for a family of four in 2014-15) may be charged additional tuition above the voucher amount.   Students who live in Milwaukee and whose family income does not exceed 300 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible ($71,550 for a family of four in 2014-15); moreover, a family's income limit increases by $7,000 if the student's parents/legal guardians are married. Students who are continuing the program from previous years and those who were on a school's waiting list in the prior year because the school did not have space available do not need to demonstrate income eligibility.  This program launched in 1990.  

Parental Private School Choice Program (Racine)

Wisconsin's Parental Private School Choice Program (Racine) is open to any income-qualified child who attended Racine Unified Public Schools in the prior year or any current or entering private school student in kindergarten or first grade and kindergarten schools that specifically serve only four- and five-year-old students. Entering private school ninth-grade students also are eligible.   In 2014-15, the maximum voucher amount is $7,210 for grades K-8 and $7,856 for grades 9-12. Beginning in 2015-16, maximum voucher payments increase by a percentage equal to the percentage increase in general school aid to Wisconsin public schools. Parents of students in grades 9-12 that have an income greater than 220 percent of the federal poverty level ($52,470 for a family of four in 2014-15) may be charged additional tuition above the voucher amount.   Students from families with household incomes up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($71,550 for a family of four in 2014-15) are eligible for vouchers; moreover, a family's income limit eligibility increases by $7,000 if the student's parents or legal guardians are married. Students who are continuing the program from previous years and those who were on a school's waiting list in the prior year because the school did not have space available do not need to demonstrate income eligibility. Students must have been either (1) enrolled in a public school in the previous year, (2) not enrolled in school in the previous year, (3) enrolled in a private school under the voucher program in the previous year, or (4) be entering kindergarten, first grade, or ninth grade. If an applying student has a sibling already in the private school the applicant wishes to attend, he or she will receive preference in the voucher lottery. This program launched in 2011.  

Parental Choice Program (Statewide)

Wisconsin's statewide Parental Choice Program is open to any income-qualified child who resides outside of the attendance zones for Milwaukee Public Schools and the Racine Unified School District.  In 2014-15, the maximum voucher amount is $7,210 for grades K-8 and $7,856 for grades 9-12. Beginning in 2015-16, maximum voucher payments increase by a percentage equal to the percentage increase in general school aid to Wisconsin public schools. The voucher may not exceed the private school's per student costs, including operating expenses and debt service.  Wisconsin families who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch and reside outside of either the Milwaukee Public Schools or the Racine Unified School District are eligible. Students must also come from families with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($44,123 for a family of four in 2014-15); moreover, a family's income limit increases by $7,000 if the student's parents/legal guardians are married. Participation is limited to 1,000 students. Each district will have an enrollment cap of 1 percent of its public school district enrollment, and private schools must have been in operation on May 1, 2013 to participate.  The program launched in 2013.  

K-12 Private School Tuition Deduction

Wisconsin provides an income tax deduction for individuals who pay private school tuition for their dependents.  The tax deduction is worth up to $4,000 per child in grades K-8 and up to $10,000 per child in grades 9-12.   Any Wisconsin taxpayer is eligible.