The MPCP was established in 1990 as the first urban education reform in the U.S. built around the idea of permitting parents to enroll their children in private schools of their choosing at government expense. In its first year of operation, the MPCP enrolled 341 students in the seven secular private schools participating in the program. The MPCP remained a small pilot program throughout the period of Witte’s government-authorized evaluation of 1990-95 (figure 1). Although Wisconsin lawmakers created the conditions for program expansion in 1995 – raising the enrollment cap from 1.5 to 15 percent of K-12 students in the MPS and allowing religious schools to participate – those changes were not implemented until the Wisconsin State Supreme Court ruled them constitutional in 1998. Program enrollment immediately jumped more than 400 percent and the MPCP was quickly transformed from a small pilot initiative to a large and maturing parental school choice program.
Wolf, P. J. (2008). The Comprehensive Longitudinal Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Summary of Baseline Reports. School Choice Demonstration Project. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/scdp/46