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Wisconsin families have multiple school choice options, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. One option is open enrollment, which allows students to enroll in schools in districts other than where they live or attend virtual charter schools.

Wisconsin also has three Private School Choice Programs: one each for Milwaukee and Racine and a statewide program. Families at certain income levels can apply to receive vouchers to attend private schools. 

School funding became a central issue in the 2022 governor’s race. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers — who supports more public school funding — won re-election. 

Republican candidate Tim Michels announced a “universal school choice” plan but did not outline its costs. The plan would have removed income and enrollment limits, allowing any family to receive a voucher for private school. 

In April, Evers vetoed a Republican bill that would have eliminated income and enrollment caps, citing an estimated financial impact of more than $500 million on taxpayers.


Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: School Choice Programs

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: Private School Choice Programs: Student Applications (Information for Parents & Schools)

Wisconsin Watch: Has Tim Michels outlined how much his ‘universal school choice’ plan would cost?

Wisconsin State Legislature: Governor’s veto message | April 15, 2022

Wisconsin Public Radio: Evers vetoes GOP bills on MPS, voucher schools, parental ‘bill of rights’

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Hope Karnopp / Wisconsin WatchReporting intern

Hope Karnopp joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism major and is pursuing certificates in public policy and environmental studies at UW-Madison. Hope previously covered state politics as an intern for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She also works with the Daily Cardinal and hosts a radio segment about campus news for WORT-FM, which has been recognized by the Milwaukee Press Club.