ON-Lion Letter

In December, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) notified the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) that its investigation into the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has been closed.  The investigation was launched in 2011 after a questionable complaint was filed by opponents of school choice with the hopes that the entire program would be investigated.  DOJ found no evidence of discrimination against disabled children or any violations of federal law by private schools in the program.

"After four years, this secretive investigation has come to an end," said Jim Bender, president of School Choice Wisconsin (SCW).  "The DOJ has now reaffirmed what the DPI stated all the way back in 2011 -- there is no record of the school choice programs in Wisconsin discriminating against students with special needs."

"This was a typical example of federal overreach," according to Rick Esenberg, president and general counsel of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), which provided legal counsel to schools on the matter.  "The federal government demanded that the state of Wisconsin regulate private schools in a way that state law did not permit.  While it’s gratifying that -- after over four years -- the federal government finally recognized that there is nothing to see here, it’s troubling that Washington continues to throw its weight around."

Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation substantially supports SCW and WILL.

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