Information for parents
The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program allows students from low-income families who reside in the City of Milwaukee to attend any participating private school located in the city at no charge if certain eligibility criteria are met. Contact the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for the list of schools participating in the program. You may also access the program's web page at: http://dpi.wi.gov/sms/choice.html
Payment of Allowable Fees
A Choice student may attend a Choice school at no charge for tuition. However, they may be required by the school to pay reasonable fees for social or extra-curricular activities or for personal use items such as uniforms, towels, or gym clothes. The student or their parents should check with the private school to determine what fees are charged to students attending under this program, if any.
Special Education Services
A Choice school may not discriminate against a child with special needs in the admission process or elsewhere. However, as a private school, the Choice school is only required to offer those services to assist students with special needs that it can provide to children with minor adjustments. Parents should contact Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) for more information on the services provided to children with special needs enrolled in the public schools and the lesser services that MPS provides these children enrolled in private schools.
A private school may not require a pupil enrolled in the Choice program at that school to participate in any religious activity if the student's parent or guardian submits to the student's teacher or the school's principal a written request that the student be excused from such activity.
Eligible students in grades kindergarten through 12 residing in the City of Milwaukee may apply for the Choice program at a participating private school during a period the school is accepting Choice applications. To qualify for the program in the 2002-2003 school year, a student must reside in Milwaukee, live in a household with an income equal to or less than 1.75 times the federal poverty level (the income limits are shown elsewhere in this brochure) and meet one of the following criteria:
- Was enrolled in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) system in the 2001-02 school year. A student is defined as enrolled in MPS if they are attending an MPS school, receiving instruction through MPS, or attending school in another school district through the Chapter 220 program while a resident of Milwaukee.
- Was enrolled in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program in the 2001-02 school year.
- Was enrolled in one of grades kindergarten through 3 in a private school located in the City of Milwaukee, but was not enrolled in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, in the 2001-02 school year.
- Was not enrolled in any school, in the City of Milwaukee or elsewhere, in the 2001-02 school year.
- Was eligible for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program on August 25, 1995, and subsequently enrolled in a private school in the City of Milwaukee in at least one of the last seven school years: 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01 or 2001-02. See the Choice student application from for more detail.
How to Apply
The student's parent or guardian must submit an application directly to a participating private Choice school during the school's open application period(s).
Each Choice school decides which of the open application period(s) listed below it will accept Choice student applications. Applicants are required to submit the Choice application and proof of eligibility only during a school's open application period(s). Any applications received outside a school's designated open application period(s) or not completed by the end of the specific application period will be considered ineligible. Parents are encouraged to apply during the school's earliest open application period. A listing of the open application period(s) each school is participating in may be obtained from the program's web site at: http://dpi.wi.gov/sms/choice.html or contacting DPI directly.
If a private Choice school receives applications from more eligible students than it has Choice seats available, selection of sudents will be determined on a random basis. In other words, the school cannot use grades, test scores, or any other factors besides eligibility for the program in admitting Choice students. However, preference may be given to Choice students at that school and their siblings.
It is recommended that parents keep in touch with the school to receive the latest information. Schools must notify parents within 60 days of receiving the application of admission on non-admission to the Choice program at the school.
The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program Student Application Form, MPS-PCP-3A is used to apply to a private school participating under this program. This form may be obtained from the private school the pupil wishes to attend, downloaded from the program's Web page at: http://dpi.wi.gov/sms/forms.html or by contacting DPI directly.