ON-Lion Letter
The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) has saved Wisconsin taxpayers an estimated $180 million since 1994, according to an article by University of Arkansas professor Robert M. Costrell in the Winter 2009 edition of Education Next magazine.

"The history of the MPCP illustrates how voucher programs can provide significant taxpayer savings," according to Costrell's "Who Gains, Who Loses?"  Costrell is a professor of education reform and economics.  Earlier this year, he wrote a report for the School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP) on the fiscal impact of MPCP in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

In the Education Next article, Costrell provides a comprehensive analysis of MPCP's fiscal impact.  He explains that savings reflect the fact that per pupil costs to state and local taxpayers for the MPCP are about 29% less than costs in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) system.

Costrell says the taxpayer savings are not allocated uniformly.  He identifies a statewide benefit to taxpayers of state taxes and lower property taxes for property taxpayers outside Milwaukee.  In contrast, he says Milwaukee property taxpayers are adversely affected.

The most-recent school year included in Costrell’s analysis is 2007-08, when Milwaukee property taxpayers paid more for a student in MPCP than for a student in MPS.  However, a November report from the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau showed that in 2008-09 the Milwaukee cost for a student in the MPCP was less than for an MPS student.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports Education Next and SCDP's MPCP work.
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