Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Why do we levy tax dollars for education? For the kids, not the districts

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Over at the MacIver Institute, I explain why Waukesha School District Superintendent Todd Gray is simply wrong about expanding school choice. I also explain that despite the scary numbers, Gray is just wrong about how much aid a school district should lose when enrollment declines because of choice.

Gray does not fully explain that the state actually will save money because a school voucher ($7,210) does not equal the amount given in state aid per pupil to the Waukesha School District ($9,815). It’s awfully hard to imagine a scenario, as Gray does, where the total voucher amount exceeds the amount in state aid for a student in a non-choice school.

As for the $4,000, that’s from the amount levied by the school district on local taxpayers, and it may not be enough. A rough calculation puts the amount the school district levied from local property taxpayers per student enrolled in the district at approximately $5,700 per student.

It’s only right that the money follows those students that the district is no longer educating. If the purpose of the monies levied by taxes is to educate Wisconsin’s children, then the money should follow the means of accomplishing it. The district that complains about the revenue lost with the transfer of the student to the choice program is ignoring that the responsibility of educating the child is no longer theirs.

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