Spotlight: School choice for all now

By Shannon Whitworth

As kids head back to school, this year nearly two million fewer students will attend public schools, which amounts to nearly 4% of America’s K-12 students. Parents see teachers, administrators and boards whose judgment they used to trust, eschewing instruction in critical subjects for social justice indoctrination. Paradoxically, this approach continues to create a demand for school choice which even the staunchest of critics will not be able to stop.

We see similar numbers across Wisconsin. The Badger State’s public school enrollment dropped by nearly 25,000 students between 2020-2021. This loss shows no sign of recovery, as public school enrollment dropped by another 700 students in 2022. This has forced some Wisconsin schools to cut staff. Shrinking public school enrollment stands in stark contrast to the increase in private school enrollment, which, over the same time period, has grown by nearly 6,000 students.

I teach Free Enterprise at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, a choice school where over 95% of the students are economically disadvantaged, inner-city, black kids who take advantage of a school voucher to be there. It is not unusual at Milwaukee Lutheran to get 1,000 freshman applications each year to fill just over 200 spots.

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