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73% of new voucher students were already attending private school

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Supporters of Wisconsin's school voucher program say it gives low-income kids struggling in public schools a chance for a better education in private schools. 

However, that's not happening this fall with the 500 students who received vouchers to attend private schools outside of Milwaukee County and Racine. 

The state Department of Public Instruction said today that 73-percent of the 500-plus youngsters were already in private school a year ago. 

Only 21-percent made the jump from public schools. 

The other six-percent came from out-of-state -- or they were not in school at all last year. 

The 73-percent figure for private school holdovers was higher than the 67-percent the DPI had predicted in August. 

Appleton and the Green Bay-De Pere areas had the highest private school enrollments in the voucher program with 53 each. 

The voucher expansion was limited to 500 students this year, but increases to 1,000 next year.