The Nation's Oldest Voucher Program: Beacon Of Hope, Or Failed Experiment?

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Milwaukee has the nation's longest-running, publicly funded voucher program. For 27 years it has targeted African-American kids from low-income families, children who otherwise could not afford the tuition at a private or religious school. The vouchers are issued by what's known as the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. Some some see vouchers as a beacon of hope in a public school district where student achievement lags far behind the state average, and where only 20 percent of students are proficient in English language arts and fewer than 15 percent in math. Others say the program is a failed experiment that has siphoned away money desperately needed by the city's struggling schools. As part of our reporting on vouchers around the country , and to get...

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