Milwaukee Parental Choice Program
Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP)
- Allows low- and some middle-income families to enroll their children in participating private schools with an educational voucher.
- Family income must be at or less than 300% of the federal poverty level ($86,500 for a married family of four).
- MPCP students outperform their public school peers on the ACT exam (DPI, 2021–22) and on most academic proficiency measures.
Barriers and Challenges
- The MPCP, along with the RPCP and WPCP, is the only tax-supported educational option in Wisconsin that restricts participation based on income. There are no income limits for traditional public schools, charter schools, open enrollment, and the Special Needs Scholarship Program.
- Private schools in the program receive on average 59 percent of per-pupil funds available to traditional public schools. That markedly limits the supply of schools and the capacity of those in the program. In fact, one of the program’s best high schools, Hope Christian High School, closed in 2022 because funding was not sufficient.
By the Numbers
- Headcount for 2022–23: 28,958
- Schools: 129
- Voucher from state 2022–23: $8,399 for K–8 and $9,045 for high school
- Enrollment cap: None
- Geographical limit: Students must reside in the City of Milwaukee. Schools anywhere in the state may participate in the program.
- History: Launched in 1990 as the country’s first school choice program. Expanded in 1995 to allow religious schools to participate.