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ERIC Number: ED504460
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Did Compromise Voucher Law Achieve Intended Purpose? Research Brief. Volume 96, Number 1
Public Policy Forum
Changes in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program's enabling legislation were intended to increase program ability to enroll dissatisfied public school students while ensuring some third-party accountability for voucher schools. After changes in eligibility requirements and the lifting of the enrollment cap, enrollment did grow, but much of the growth came from existing private school students. More than two-fifths of new voucher users were already private school students, and this year's growth in voucher enrollment was only 7%, the second lowest increase since 1999-2000. These trends seem to indicate that demand for vouchers as an option for public school students has increased at a more moderate rate than in the past. Other statutory changes now require schools in the voucher program to be accredited by an approved accrediting agency. Accreditation is perceived as a rigorous process conferring some independent oversight and accountability, which would ideally help parents make decisions about quality when choosing among various schools. However, because the state legislature allowed many non-traditional accrediting agencies to be on the approved list, whether true accountability and guidance for parents exists is debatable. The report concludes that many voucher schools are not seeking independent accreditation and the outside accountability it brings, while public school parents demonstrate a slowing demand for private school options. Both trends cast doubt on whether the twin goals of the legislative reform, greater growth and greater accountability, will be achieved. (Contains 5 charts and 2 tables.) [Research funded by the Evan and Marion Helfaer Foundation and the Fleck Foundation.]
Public Policy Forum. 633 West Wisconsin Avenue Suite 406, Milwaukee, WI 53203. Tel: 414-276-8240; Fax: 414-276-9962; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Public Policy Forum
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin