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ERIC Number: ED504491
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Why Not Lift the Cap? Research Brief. Volume 94, Number 2
Public Policy Forum
During the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program's (MPCP) 15th year, the statutory cap on voucher enrollment was met: for the first time, the voucher program enrollment surpassed 15% of Milwaukee Public School (MPS) enrollment. Hitting the cap has triggered a heated political debate. Voucher advocates argue that the cap should be lifted, that denying students accessibility to voucher schools is detrimental to their education. Critics counter that lifting the cap would increase total costs for K-12 education in the city and would negatively impact the public schools. The data indicate that neither scenario is very likely. Demand for vouchers has never outpaced the availability of voucher seats and enrollment growth is decelerating. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) calculates that only six voucher schools enrolled as many students this fall as they predicted last February. In addition, between September 2004 and September 2005, more than 4,000 students opted not to renew their vouchers, the largest in program history. Overall enrollment growth in the program has slowed, and new schools, the traditional source of growth in the program, may be reaching its saturation point. The report concludes that the data trends suggest that lifting the cap would not result in large numbers of new students joining the program, that keeping it in place creates a false sense of demand, and that removing it would more accurately demonstrate the program's level of success in the marketplace. (Contains 8 charts and 2 tables.)
Public Policy Forum. 633 West Wisconsin Avenue Suite 406, Milwaukee, WI 53203. Tel: 414-276-8240; Fax: 414-276-9962; e-mail: forum@publicpolicyforum.org; Web site: http://www.publicpolicyforum.org
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Public Policy Forum
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin