Eight Racine Schools Set to Participate in First Year of Voucher Program

On the precipice of Wisconsin’s largest school choice expansion since 1996, eight Racine schools have been approved by the state Department of Public Instruction to accept students through voucher payments for 2011-2012. These institutions are set to educate 250 low-income pupils in the first year of choice in the state’s fifth-largest city.

The eight schools that have earned DPI’s approval to accept vouchers as tuition range from secular to parochial schools and serve all grades from pre-kindergarten through high school. Seven of the eight fall within city limits, while Shoreland Lutheran High School in Somers is the only outlier.

Racine Schools Participating in the Parental Private School Choice Program

School Grades
John Paul II Academy K-8
Mount Pleasant Renaissance School Pre-K-3
Our Lady of Grace Academy K-8
Saint John Fisher Academy *9-11
Saint Joseph School K-4
Shoreland Lutheran High School *9-12
Trinity Lutheran School Pre-K-2
Wisconsin Lutheran School K-2, 4-5

All eight schools will begin accepting student applications this month. Half of the programs will also consider new pupils for their second semesters this winter, though the program’s cap may limit participation as the year goes on.

The Racine voucher program is part of the state’s largest voucher reform since 1996, when parochial schools were allowed to participate in the country’s first modern school choice program. 2011 will mark the first year that vouchers have expanded beyond the city of Milwaukee.

In its first year, the Racine program will be limited to just 250 students. This number will rise to 500 students in 2012-13 and continue uncapped beyond that. As student participation increases, the number of eligible schools is likely to rise as well.