Wisconsin Parents Exercising Educational Choice

1 in 4 Statewide and nearly 4 in 5 in Milwaukee, According to MacIver Study

[Madison, Wisc…] More than 260,000 Wisconsin K-12 students exercise some form of educational choice, according to a new study by the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy.

“Choice in education is not the exception, it is the norm in Wisconsin,” said MacIver Institute President Brett Healy.  “Our MacIver Educational Choice Census shows that parents across Wisconsin embrace alternatives to the public school that bureaucrats dictate upon them based solely on where they live.”

The MacIver Educational Choice Census reveals that 261,301 Wisconsin school children are educated in a place other than their traditional, geographically-assigned public school. That’s up 17.7 percent from the 222,086 children from the last MacIver census.

Statewide, more than 25 percent of students exercised choice, and in Milwaukee, almost four out of every five students exercised some form of choice over where they’ll attend school.

The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy’s second annual edition of their Wisconsin Educational Choice Census documents student populations between traditional and emerging forms of school choice such as private schools, homeschooling, charter schools, and virtual schools. Student counts across these categories were compared against regular public school enrollment as well as prevalent forms of choice within the public school system, including Chapter 220 student transfers, state and city run charter schools, and the public school open enrollment program. The result was an account of more than one million K-12 students, which provides a testament to Wisconsinites’ ongoing commitment to finding the right schools for their children.

“Once again, the MacIver Educational Choice Census demonstrates that Wisconsin families across the state demand high-quality options  be they public, private, virtual or brick and mortar charter schools.” said Healy. “Wisconsin policy makers should understand that the parents of Wisconsin demand access to educational innovation.”

The MacIver Educational Choice Census was compiled by Education Policy Analyst Christian D’Andrea using figures provided by the State Department of Public Instruction and Milwaukee Public Schools. It is the second year the Maciver Institute has published the Educational Choice Census.