Monday, November 14, 2005

Another voucher school bites the dust in Milwaukee

From tomorrow's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

State denies funds for school

Northside High fails to qualify under voucher plan rules

Taking the next step in a new strategy for enforcing rules on schools in Milwaukee's private school voucher program, the state Department of Public Instruction has notified a school that opened this fall it does not qualify to receive public money.

...

Northside High raised eyebrows even before it opened because [CEO Ricardo] Brooks was a key official of Academic Solutions, a large voucher school that the DPI ordered closed last winter, and because the school is located in space previously used by Academic Solutions. Under new regulations for the voucher program, leaders of schools ordered closed cannot open another voucher school for seven years, but Brooks applied to open Northside before the rule went into effect.

Northside received a voucher payment from the state in September of $309,611.25, based on having 194 qualifying students, according to the DPI. Voucher payments are made four times a year.

Under tightened rules, DPI has been increasing its oversight of private schools with voucher students, based on whether they are complying with rules on financial practices, other operating practices or safety and now on whether they meet the state's definition of a private school.



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