I’m writing in response to Joyce Luedke’s July 28 letter about the Parental Choice Program, commonly known as the voucher program. Ms. Luedke needs to get some of her facts straight:
• The tuition tax deduction that she mentions will not begin (if it passes) until the 2014-2015 school year. This year a state-wide PCP/voucher program has been initiated. In addition to what is already in place for Milwaukee and Racine, 25 schools from the rest of the state will be able to participate. Once the tax deduction goes into effect (next year), the voucher program will no longer exist.
• Religious schools receive NO tax-payer money. The families that send their children to religious schools pay income tax (that funds public schools) just like everyone else AND they pay tuition for their child’s school. Religious schools are NOT funded by the government!
• The PCP is only available to families that are at 185% of the poverty level – there are economic eligibility limits.
• Religious schools DO perform better when tested using standardized testing such as WKCE. They regularly perform above national levels.
• Religious schools DO have to comply to a state-wide accountability system. They are accredited through Religious and Independent Schools of Wisconsin which is recognized by WDPI.
Please do stay informed, but make sure you are getting accurate information.
Paula Schneider, Rhinelander