50+ Milwaukee Voucher Schools Forced to Close Doors Since 2004

Failed-Voucher-School
Daughter’s of the Father Christian Academy voucher school just abruptly closed its doors nine days into the school year making it 50+ Milwaukee voucher schools to be forced to close since 2004. Whether they have not met requirements related to finances, accreditation, student safety, or auditing every one of these schools didn’t serve the best interests of students and taxpayers. These failed voucher schools have hurt countless students and families as well as have cost Wisconsin taxpayers $139 million dollars in that time. Isn’t it time we pull the plug on this failed experiment called voucher schools?

Private schools that received state vouchers but were subsequently barred from participation in the program.

Year closed;School name;Estimated payments;years in program

2003-04;Alex’s Academics of Excellence;$3,505,595;5

2003-04;Mandella School of Science and Math;$2,231,340;2

2004-05;Academic Solutions Learning Center;$10,494,281;6

2004-05;Learning Enterprise;$7,517,572;13

2004-05;Louis Tucker Academy;$2,795,779;8

2005-06;Howard’s Learning Center;$175,539;3

2005-06;Ida B. Wells;$136,689;1

2005-06;LEADER Institute;$1,958,241;2

2005-06;Medgar Evers Christian Academy;$2,319,357;9

2005-06;Northside High School;$1,708,419;1

2005-06;Sa’Rai and Zigler Upper Excellerated Academy;$910,572;2

2005-06;Tahir Ahmadiyya Elementary School;$77,259;1

2005-06;Tucker’s Institute of Learning;$930,210;2

2006-07;Christ Kids Academy of Excellence;$476,874;2

2006-07;Faith Temple Pentecostal;$82,563;1

2006-07;Nubian Preparatory Learning Academy;$63,510;1

2006-07;DJ Perkins Academy of Excellence;$472,476;2

2006-07;STS Christian Academy;N/A

2006-07;Elijah’s Brook God’s Nation Children School;N/A

2007-08;Nzingha Institute;$559,437;2

2007-08;Veritas Academy;$327,682;4

2008-09;Jesus Academy of Learning;$253,539;1

2008-09;Grace Preparatory School of Excellence;$1,035,790;8

2008-09;Institute for Career Empowerment Inc.;$2,821,704;4

2008-09;Agape Center of Academic Excellence, Inc.;$7,188,581;12

2008-09;Blyden Delany;$4,443,631;10

2008-09;R & B Academy;N/A

2008-09;The Young Women’s Institute for Global Studies;$125,533;1

2008-09;Family Academy;$2,042,332;11

2008-09;Collins Christian Academy;$277,494;1

2009-10;Excel Learning Academy;$2,535,753;5

2009-10;Johnson Christian Academy;$2,124,379;3

2009-10;KidPreneur;$1,805,724;3

2009-10/2010-11;Resurrection Christian Academy;$2,433,867;5

2009-10;Victory Preparatory Academy;$2,660,428;10

2009-10;The Way and the Truth Christian Academy;$1,004,264;1

2009-10;Trinity Christian Academy;$2,284,431;3

2010-11;Harambee Community School;$31,104,399;20

2010-11;Garden Homes Community Montessori School, Inc.;$397,748;3

2010-11;Excel Academy;$8,596,409;6

2010-11;Tuskegee Aviation Academy;$711,253;2

2010-11;More Than Conquerors Preparatory School;$32,540;2

2010-11;Mustard Seed International School;$466,582;4

2010-11;Mills Christian Academy;$2,214,535;3

2011-12;Milwaukee Institute for Academic Achievement;$294,722;1

2012-13;The Margaret Howard Christian Leadership Institute;$1,997,178;4

2012-13;The Applecrest Preparatory Leadership Academy;$718,097;8

2012-13;Kindergarten Plus;$3,498,889;12

2012-13;St. John Fisher Academy;$109,514;1

2013-14;Dr. Brenda Noach Choice School;$7,299,749;12

2013-14;LifeSkills;$2,329,974;6

2013-14;Washington Du Bois;$8,804,415;8

2014-15;Learning Bridges Kingdom Academy;$1,260,852;4

Total estimated payments: $139,617,701

Source: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

School Vouchers: A Failed Educational Experiment

Originally posted in the report: Fulfill the Promise: The schools and communities our children deserve, published by Schools and Communities United.

For a quarter century, Milwaukee has been the target of a free-market experiment to transform education from a constitutional right for all children, to a consumer item that privileges wealthy families.

It is a failed experiment. Nonetheless, it remains a key goal of conservative powerhouses such as the Koch brothers and the Walton and Bradley foundations.

Under the voucher program, public tax dollars pay the tuition at private schools. Even if every single student receives a voucher, the school is still defined as private.

Here are four essential problems.

Vouchers siphon tax dollars out of public schools
The state legislature cut per-pupil spending by $635 in fiscal year 2011-12—the second highest cut in the country. That same year, $142 million in public money was funneled to private voucher schools in Milwaukee, and the voucher program was expanded to Racine. Since 1990, $1.3 billion in tax dollars have been given to Milwaukee voucher schools.

Vouchers are a failed educational experiment

In the 2013-14 state tests, voucher school students performed lower than students in the Milwaukee Public Schools in both reading and math.

Voucher schools skirt basic accountability

Voucher schools follow different rules than public schools. They can expel students at will, and do not have to hire certified teachers or provide necessary special education services. They can teach creationism or teach that homosexuality is a sin. In Milwaukee, 89 percent of voucher students attend a religious school.

The goal is universal vouchers

Voucher supporters seek to replace public education with universal vouchers—or, as one advocate said, “a voucher in every backpack.” Today, the Milwaukee voucher program enrolls some 26,000 students—in size, almost as big as the Madison district. It is the largest voucher program in any U.S. city and now the current state budget proposes to increase the program’s reach to the entire state.