Author(s): Greg Forster, Ph.D.
This study compares segregation levels in Milwaukee public schools and in private schools participating in the Milwaukee voucher program. Using a segregation index that measures the difference between the percent of students in a school who are white and the percentage of school-age children in the greater metro area who are white, it finds that segregation is 13 points higher in Milwaukee public schools than in voucher-participating private schools. To put this finding in perspective, in a city whose school-age population was 50 percent white, a school that was 60 percent white and a school that was 73 percent white would differ by 13 points on the segregation index.
Milwaukee families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines qualify to
receive vouchers. Once a student receives a voucher, that student is able to keep it, regardless
of his or her family’s future income. Voucher students are allowed to attend any participating
private school in the state.