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Green Bay leads charge in private schools registering for voucher program

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Forty-eight private and religious schools in Wisconsin have applied to accept students under the state’s newly-expanded private school choice program.

We won’t know how many of those schools will actually be chosen to participate until after August 9th, the deadline for parents to submit applications online.

If more than 500 youngsters apply statewide, only the 25 schools with the largest numbers of applications can accept tax-funded vouchers.

Green Bay has the most number of schools applying, with six. Sheboygan had the second-highest number with 4 schools interested.

The choice program has operated in Milwaukee for two decades, and in Racine for the last two years. It provides vouchers to low-income kids to attend private schools, in the hopes that they get a better education.

Governor Scott Walker originally wanted to expand the program to nine Wisconsin districts with the poorest grades in the state’s new public school report cards. That budget measure faced a host of criticism, even from some of Walker’s own Republicans.

The GOP ended up forging a compromise to expand the choice program statewide, but on a very limited basis.