Wisconsin pays more than $200 million in tuition subsidies to pr - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wisconsin pays more than $200 million in tuition subsidies to private-school students

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Nearly 30,000 students now receive state-subsidized vouchers to go to private schools is Wisconsin.

The Journal Sentinel reports the state is now a leader when it comes to giving taxpayer-funded tuition subsidies to private school students.

There is a statewide voucher program, as well older programs in Milwaukee, Racine and statewide. The biggest is in Milwaukee, where 113 serve nearly 27,000 students

The statewide voucher program has grown significantly in recent years and leaders in the Republican-controlled legislature have said they plan to prioritize the expansion of vouchers for qualifying students once the next legislative session starts in January.

A total of 159 schools, most of them religious, were in the voucher program this fall.

The programs cost taxpayers about $211 million, according to state estimates. The statewide and Racine programs are fully funded by the state, but only two-thirds of the Milwaukee program is covered by the state; the remaining third is paid for by Milwaukee taxpayers.

The state's flagship voucher program in Milwaukee is now 25 years old, making it the oldest and largest of its kind in the nation.
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