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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

New Report Shows 75% of Taxpayer-Funded Vouchers Benefit Students Already Enrolled in Private Schools

Oct 29, 2015
Press Release
Only 19 Percent of New Students Enrolled Came from Public Schools

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) released the following statement after the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction announced the number of students attending private schools on state-funded vouchers more than doubled since enrollment caps were lifted. Nearly, 75 percent of students in the newly expanded program were already enrolled in private schools and only 19 percent of new statewide enrollees came from the public-school system. The total cost for the statewide program is estimated to be $18.3 million for the 2015-2016 school year. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, during the ’16-17 school year, the state will spend $258 million on taxpayer-funded vouchers and will reduce public school funding by $83 million.

“This new data clearly shows that the Wisconsin taxpayer- funded voucher program doesn’t exist to help students in need,” said Rep. Mark Pocan. “The Wisconsin taxpayers are paying tuition to students already enrolled in private schools, while our public schools struggle to cover basic infrastructure needs. Not only are voucher schools selecting which students they educate, often turning down students with special needs, but they also operate with little to no oversight or transparency. Let’s be clear: public education is fundamental part of a government’s responsibility to its citizens. Public funds should only be used for public education.”