Wisconsin School Choice options

Even if you’d prefer to educate your child in the private sector, you may still be entitled to public funding to offset the cost of tuition. Qualified families can utilize Wisconsin’s Parental Choice Program (available at both regional and statewide levels) to access publicly funded vouchers for private education institutions. 

Wisconsin also offers an income tax deduction without income limits for families paying private school tuition for their children. Eligible families can apply for an individual tax deduction following K–12 private school tuition payments. With over 419 active Choice schools, odds are you’ll be able to find a perfect fit for your child.

Comparing all Wisconsin School Choice offerings

Program Name Type Maximum Award  Eligible Expenses Average Yearly Tuition
Special Needs Scholarship Program Voucher $12,883 Tuition for children with special needs $5,057
K–12 Private School Tuition Deduction Tax Credit/Deduction $5,055 Tuition $5,057
Parental Choice Program (Statewide) Voucher $10,443 Tuition $5,057
Parental Private School Choice Program (Racine) Voucher $10,549 Tuition $5,057
Milwaukee Parental Choice Program Voucher $10,460 Tuition $5,057

Parental Choice Voucher Program

Wisconsin’s statewide Parental Choice Program is a great option for low-income families looking for alternate
educational options. Families can gain greater access to private, accredited schools, as choice programs in
Wisconsin frequently cover a student’s entire annual tuition cost.

To qualify, students must

  • Have an annual household income of 300% or less of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) 
  • Meet State residency requirements
  • Submit an annual application to the Choice program
Group of private school students in a classroom

From kindergarten through eighth grade, private schools in Wisconsin are not permitted to charge Choice students tuition. That means that your Parental Choice voucher will cover your child’s entire tuition until they reach high school. From ninth grade onward, institutions may charge additional tuition to Choice families whose annual household income exceeds 220% of the FPL. 

Private school student reading and writing

Keep in mind that all schools (elementary, middle, and high schools) can charge additional learning and activity fees that are not covered by the voucher. These costs include things like uniforms, room and board, books, transportation fees, sports fees, or musical instruments.

Fundraising and tuition reduction for private schools with RaiseRight

Fundraising through RaiseRight is a great way to cover additional education costs—and many private schools in Wisconsin are already using RaiseRight. If you’d like to start your own RaiseRight tuition reduction program, learn more here.

Exterior of a small white church building

When selecting students from their pool of Choice applicants, private institutions in Wisconsin are not permitted to make decisions based on the prospective student’s race, religion, prior test scores, or grades. They also can’t consider any recommendations and/or membership status of any organization (such as a parish or church) as a metric for acceptance. Religious educational institutions cannot compel Choice students to participate in religious activities once admitted.

Save more on your child’s education with RaiseRight

Families that fundraise with RaiseRight know that it’s the easiest, most effective way to offset private school educational costs. Wisconsin vouchers are limited for tuition only, so utilize RaiseRight to cover other school-related costs and relieve financial pressure.

Average Wisconsin yearly private school tuition

*Based on average spend for a household family of 4