More good and bad news on school choice was announced today:
A group called School Choice Wisconsin reports on a study of Milwaukee high school graduation rates. First the good news: a small “parental choice” program has allowed some students to do better.
Graduation rates in Milwaukee have risen steadily since 2003, with students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) more likely to receive diplomas than students in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). ... Had MPS achieved the same graduation rate as students in the MPCP, an additional 3,939 Milwaukee students would have graduated from 2003 to 2009.
But then the bad news:
The number of 9th graders entering the MPCP decreased in 2010-2011. Per-pupil funding cuts and increased regulation have threatened the sustainability of private high schools in the MPCP. The result has been a decrease in the number of freshman seats offered through the program, at a time when demand significantly exceeds the supply.
Even as private schools struggle for funds, they provide better education for less money.
Per-pupil taxpayer support for the MPCP is $6,442, less than half of the $15,034 spent per-pupil in MPS.
Whatever a state decides to spend per pupil, parents should be allowed to take that money to any school—public or private.