Using Evers’ own publicly available Accountability Report Card data from the 2017-18 school year, I find that private schools participating in choice programs and independent charter schools tend to offer the citizens of Wisconsin more “bang for the buck” than district-run public schools.
Specifically, private schools deliver 2.27 more Accountability Report Card points for every $1,000 invested than district-run public schools, demonstrating a 36% cost-effectiveness advantage for private schools. Notably, private schools are 75% more cost-effective in Racine and 50% more cost-effective in Milwaukee, the cities with the highest proportions of students using school vouchers in the state.
The data reveal that Wisconsin’s independent charter schools also do more with less. Independent charter schools are 63% more cost-effective in Racine, and 50% more cost-effective in Milwaukee, than nearby district-run public schools.
This isn’t the only evidence that school choice is a good investment. In fact, a recent evaluation from researchers at the University of Arkansas finds that charter schools are around 40% more cost-effective than traditional public schools in Wisconsin. Another peer-reviewed study from 2017 finds that charter schools are more efficient than traditional public schools in Milwaukee.
But that’s not all.