Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program?
Students who are residents of Wisconsin, outside of the Milwaukee Public School and Racine Unified School Districts, with an Adjusted Gross Income at or below 220% of the federal poverty level are eligible to receive a voucher to attend a private or religious school through the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program.
- Any public school student in grades 4K-12 who meets the income requirements.
- Any student who in the previous school year was not enrolled in school.
- Any non-Choice student currently attending a private or religious school may apply to the program only when entering 4K, Kindergarten, first, and ninth grade.
- Students entering 4K, Kindergarten, and first grade must be respectively four, five, and six years old on or by September 1 of the school year they intend to enroll.*
What are the income requirements?
Students who are residents of Wisconsin, with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) at or below 220% of the federal poverty level are eligible to receive a voucher to attend a private or religious school through the program. AGI is gross income minus specific deductions. AGI is determined by the federal income tax return for one of the two prior calendar years. Family income includes the income of the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) that reside in the same household as the student applicant. If your family income is over the amount, you may be able to make an IRA contribution to bring down your AGI (even after the calendar year ends on Dec 31)–contact your tax professional.
What if my income increases in subsequent years?
The “once in, always in” provision means your child keeps his or her voucher even if family income rises. Family income is determined for each student in the year they enter the program. Families could have some children qualify and others that do not qualify depending on family income in the year each child seeks entry into the program. The “once in, always in” provision applies only if a student continues to attend a school in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program and does not voluntarily leave the program.*
What if my 2020 income does not qualify, but my 2019 income does?
If you think that your 2019 income will qualify, but not your 2020, you may be able to use your 2019 income for determining eligibility for the program.
- Wait to file your 2020 taxes until after submitting your 2020-21 Choice application.
- In the online Choice application, choose the DOR income determination method.
- Remember to only choose this option if you are entirely certain that your 2019 income will qualify because the DOR determination is final and there is no appeal.
How is family size determined?
Family size includes parents/guardians and their children by birth, marriage or adoption that reside in the same household as the student applicant. Your family size is self-reported on the application, and you should record your current family size at the time that you complete the application.
Will I have to pay anything additional in tuition?
Yes. A school may charge a student participating in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program reasonable fees for personal items such as:
- Gym clothes or uniforms
- Social and extracurricular activities as long as the activity is not a part of the required curriculum
- Musical instruments
- High school classes not required or credited for graduation
- Before- school and after-school child care*
How do I apply for the Choice Program?
To apply for the program, a parent or guardian must complete an online application that will be available during the open enrollment period. A link to the application will be made available above. After completing the online application, the parent or guardian must provide proof that they meet residency and income requirements to the school to which they have applied, no later than the close of open enrollment. The online application is not complete until the school to which the parent or guardian has applied has verified and accepted the required documentation. Note that if you apply to the voucher program next year, in the event there are more voucher applicants than voucher seats available per grade level, applicants will be subject to a DPI random selection for those voucher seats—so a voucher is not guaranteed.*
I am divorced, and I share custody with my ex-spouse. Who should apply?
Any parent that has custody and lives with the student may apply to the program. Only one application should be made per student. The parent that first applies will need to continue the renewal applications in subsequent years.
Will my child be required to follow the school rules?
Yes. Once a student is accepted and enrolled in the school, he or she is required to follow the school’s policies and procedures. A parent should contact the school for a copy of its policies and procedures. In addition, state law requires schools to have policies and procedures in place regarding suspension and expulsion.*
Does this government involvement compromise the school's Christian mission and identity?
The Board of Directors carefully weighed this very question over the past three years, and after intensive review, it was concluded that the program in no way sacrifices the school’s Christian mission or identity. Current students and families may notice some small changes–for example, students will be required to take the battery of state-mandated standardized tests, unless their parents opt out.
Rest assured that the program is mandated by state statute, so while the school has its own requirements, the DPI which administers the program has its own requirements and limitations as well. CCS continues to run itself and determine its own programming. The intent of the Choice Program is to provide parental choice, and for the funding to follow the student, so that parents have more and better options in what is rightfully theirs to begin with: the choice of their own children’s education. Finally, note that the program has been available statewide since 2013 (Milwaukee’s is the oldest in the nation, since 1990), and many other Christian schools just like ours have already been participating for several years.
What do I do if my child receives a voucher?
Parents must reply to the school within five days after notice from DPI or the school whether or not they accept the voucher and placement at the school.*
What if I have other questions or need help?
Please contact Community Christian School. We are here to help!
- webform: click here
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- phone: 608-448-2191
- stop in: E12654 County Rd T, Baraboo WI 53913