Here are the 25 schools receiving the most applications:
Appleton Saint Francis Xavier Catholic School System Inc. (193)
Beloit and Janesville Rock County Christian School (102)
Chippewa Falls McDonell Area Catholic School (88)
Eau Claire and Altoona Regis Catholic Schools (120)
Fond du Lac Saint Mary’s Springs Academy (64)
Green Bay and De Pere Green Bay Area Catholic Education – East (110) Green Bay Area Catholic Education – South (64) Green Bay Area Catholic Education – West (62) Notre Dame de la Baie Academy (82)
Kenosha Friedens Lutheran School (95) Saint Joseph Catholic Academy (100)
La Crosse and Onalaska Aquinas Catholic Schools (100)
Madison Lighthouse Christian School (31)
Manitowoc Roncalli High School (65) Saint Francis of Assisi School (93)
Marshfield Columbus Catholic Schools (83)
Oshkosh Lourdes Academy (113) Valley Christian School (95)
Plymouth Saint John Lutheran School (42)
Sheboygan Sheboygan Area Lutheran High School (42) Sheboygan Christian School (59)
Stevens Point and Plover Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools (106)
Wausau and Rothschild Newman Catholic Schools (94)
Wisconsin Rapids Assumption Catholic Schools (109) Immanuel Lutheran School (40)
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) The state released which 25 private schools will take part in the new voucher program, but some public schools leaders said they still have concerns.
Four schools in Western Wisconsin will take advantage of the program that uses tax dollars to pay for private school expenses. But public schools said they're concerned about where that money is coming from.
The “Wisconsin Parental Choice Program” pays for 500 students from low income families to get a private school education.
Regis in Eau Claire, Aquinas in La Crosse, McDonell in Chippewa Falls and Columbus in Marshfield were selected in the program using tax dollars.
“Now they have that opportunity to experience the Catholic education that they might not have been able to afford before,” Eau Claire Regis Schools President Mark Gobler said.
The 25 total schools will each get a minimum of 10 students from the program, with the remaining half to be selected at random next week.
Of the students who applied, two-thirds attended a private school last year, according to the Department of Public Instruction.
Chippewa Falls Schools superintendent Brad Saron said he's not concerned about his students crossing Terrill Street to attend McDonell but said having stricter standards could put public schools at a competitive disadvantage.
“It's an intense time of reforms in public education. It's also an intense time of accountability. And we're competing against people that don't have to live up to the same measures that we do and of course we're concerned about that,” Saron said.
“There's a threshold of requirements you had to meet before you'd be considered a voucher school. Are they as stringent as the public schools? No. Not by any means. But yes there are some rules that we will have to follow,” Gobler said. “Our students will also be required to do all the testing that the public school counterparts will.”
“The majority of the state are not only meeting those expectations but exceeding expectations. So it brings up the question of, ‘What problem are vouchers trying to solve?’” Saron said.
Eau Claire Schools Superintendent Mary Ann Hardebeck said she's waiting to see what effect the vouchers will have on public schools but wants the same standards to apply to all schools getting state money.
Altoona Superintendent Schools Connie Biedron said the program is a family's choice that could have benefits and drawbacks
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- More than 2,400 students have applied to receive a taxpayer-funded voucher to attend private school and the majority of them do not currently attend a public school.
The state Department of Public Instruction released the data Thursday. There were 48 private schools or school systems that applied to be in the program, but only 25 of them with the most applicants will be allowed in. That is because more than 500 students applied. There is a cap of 500 students this coming school year for new schools in the program.
In those 25 schools, there were 2,069 student applications. Of those, all but 503 did not attend a public school last year.
A random lottery to determine which students fill the 500 slots will be done by DPI next week.