FAQ's about FVL and the Wisconsin School Choice Program
Why is FVL involved in the Wisconsin School "Choice" program?
FVL believes that parents are the best equipped to decide what school is the best fit for their child. The Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP) allows parents who meet eligibility requirements to choose a Christian high school education for their son or daughter. This state-funded program allows more families to choose this educational option for their teens. Most importantly, FVL will continue to share Jesus with the students of all families enrolled at our school as we provide their children with an excellent Christ-centered education.
How are students chosen for the "School Choice" program?
Students from families who meet the income guidelines are chosen through a lottery system governed by the State of Wisconsin. Selected students will receive a voucher from the State of Wisconsin to apply to their schooling. (In 2016-17, the voucher amount is $7,969.) Families selected will be notified in the summer and will have the opportunity to choose their school and accept or decline the voucher.
If my student was selected in 2016-17, do I need to re-apply each year?
The State of Wisconsin does require current WPCP students to follow a simplified re-application process that does not require filing of financial information. Families will still need to prove their residency and must complete this re-application process within the February 1-April 20, 2017 enrollment window.
What if my WPCP student is graduating this spring and has a sibling at school or entering school?
The state of Wisconsin is in charge of the lottery selection process. It does give consideration to siblings of current WPCP students who are already attending our school. The full application process, including proof of income and residence, will need to be completed.
Does FVL encourage parents to apply for the WPCP?
FVL hopes that all income eligible families will apply for this voucher program. Letters are sent to all incoming 9th grade families to make sure they are aware this program is open to them.
What if my family qualifies, but my student is not chosen for the WPCP?
In addition to applying for the WPCP program, qualifying families are also encouraged to apply to the FVL Tuition Assistance Program. Each year, FVL provides hundreds of thousands of dollars of financial aid for many families and students. Guidelines and information for applying are here. Please note the deadline for applications to the FVL Tuition Assistance Program is May 5. If a family receiving financial aid qualifies for a voucher, it allows financial aid resources to help other students who may need tuition assistance, but who don't qualify or weren’t selected for the WPCP program.
Has the WPCP program expanded in 2016-17?
The two-year budget approved by the state legislature did expand the WPCP program so that it now allows up to one percent of the the total students per school district to be chosen for a voucher. Since FVL serves students from a variety of school districts (Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, New London, Green Bay, etc.), this gives many more families the opportunity to be selected in the DPI lottery. Please note the current law also includes provisions for this one percent to continue to grow until 10 percent of the students would be eligible in future years.
Has the WPCP program compromised FVL's mission?
All WPCP students are enrolled under FVL's spiritual care. The vast majority of those students are WELS members from FVL Federation churches who qualify under the program's guidelines. All courses continue to be taught incorporating Scriptural values throughout the curriculum. The Wisconsin DPI allows religion classes and chapel to be counted as part of our students’ required instructional hours. The FVL Board and administration have carefully researched the program and believes the WPCP will be a blessing to many families who might not otherwise be able to afford a Christian high school education. The school will continue to monitor this important issue as involvement in the WPCP program develops.
What can be done to promote the "School Choice" program?
Please share the news about this exciting way to provide a high-quality Christian high school education with your friends, neighbors, and associates who might be interested. For those who are politically minded and involved, you may wish to share your thoughts with your state leaders on the value of this program.