NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Private Voucher Plan Succeeding

February 1, 1996

A report on a privately-funded school choice program offering poor and low-income families in Milwaukee grants for half the cost of private-school tuition indicates the program is successful.

For the 1994-1995 academic year, the program provided 2,654 scholarships -- 2,152 for elementary students and 502 for secondary students -- at an average cost of $637 for elementary grants and $1,369 for high school grants. The total value of scholarship funds was $1,954,257.

The third annual evaluation of the program indicates an overwhelming majority of parents were very satisfied with the education their children are receiving in the 84 elementary and 13 high schools participating in the program.

  • Of the more than 1,000 parents responding to the survey, 60 percent were "very satisfied" with the performance of their children's teachers and school principals.
  • Overall, 96 percent reported that they were satisfied with the amount their children were learning, with 63 percent of them saying they were "very satisfied."
  • All but 58 parents reported that apart from report cards, the school contacted them at least once about academic performance, behavior or to solicit voluntary and fund-raising help.

Finally, a remarkable 96 percent of the parents indicated that they attended at least one parent-teacher conference, indicating a high rate of parental involvement and interest in their children's education.

Source: Maureen Wahl, "Third Year Report of the PAVE Scholarship Program," 1995, Partners Advancing Values in Education, 1434 W. State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233.


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