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"School Choice and Community Renewal" reports $126.6 million investment in poorest neighborhoods

Thanks to educational choice programs, over $126 million in completed and planned investments will help build and renovate schools in Milwaukee neighborhoods, according to a 2003 report from the American Education Reform Council (AERC), and 2005 and 2007 updates by School Choice Wisconsin (SCW).

"Dozens of projects — financed largely with private grants and loans — have expanded educational opportunity and increased stability in several high poverty neighborhoods," according to the report, School Choice and Community Renewal.

"Many of the projects involve new and renovated schools in areas of high poverty. The projects help stabilize these neighborhoods and take tremendous fiscal pressure off the Milwaukee Public Schools and its taxpayers," said SCW President Susan Mitchell.

School Choice and Community Renewal identifies seventy-nine schools, enrolling 21,886 students, where renewal of over $126 million have been completed or planned.

The report reflects an SCW survey of privately operated Milwaukee schools participating in three programs - vouchers, charters, and partnership schools - that the Wisconsin legislature has created to expand educational options in Milwaukee.

Survey highlights include:

* Most projects are in Milwaukee neighborhoods where, according to 2000 Census data, half or more of the residents have an income below 175% of the federal poverty level.
* Seventy-nine schools, enrolling 21,886 students, completed or plan to complete projects.
* Completed and planned projects total $126.6 million ranging from $1,000 to $8,200,000.
* The average project cost $1.1 million
* Thirty-four projects cost more than $1 million, accounting for 90% of all spending.

To read the report and newspaper coverage click on the Pdfs below.

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