GREEN BAY - Some private schools in our area say they're anxiously waiting now to learn if they will receive any taxpayer support for parents to send their children to their private schools.
The deadline for schools to apply for the statewide expansion was Friday.
The staff at Pilgrim Lutheran School prepared for an open house Monday evening to let area families know about their efforts to join the voucher system.
"I think it's a great opportunity for them to select a school of they desire to have their money follow them," said its principal, Ken Longmire.
Smaller schools like Pilgrim Lutheran say they face tough odds.
It only has around 200 students.
The Department of Public Instruction says it will release the list of potential voucher schools on Wednesday.
Parents can then apply for vouchers to those schools online starting Thursday. The application period ends August 9th.
But, parents won't know until the middle of next month if their school is one of the top 25 schools which will receive vouchers.
Only 500 students statewide will get vouchers this year.
"It's kind of a dry run for us. If we don't make it this year then we have all this background," said Longmire.
"It really was a practical issue the issue," said Saied Assef with the Wisconsin International School.
Those odds, and the tight turn around for applying, were enough to keep the Wisconsin International School in De Pere out of the running this time.
The law was passed on July 1.
Schools say they had until Friday, July 26 to fill out this list of more than a dozen forms for the Department of Public Instruction.
"The administrative hoops that we would have to jump through and the time and money that that would take in a short period was just not consistent with what we were able to do. We certainly support a parent's ability to have choice," said Assef.
In an attempt to increase their chances of being chosen, Catholic schools in the GRACE system say they applied in groupings of three schools.
But as it goes alone, Pilgrim Lutheran School says it's trying to remain optimistic.
"It's really hard to know at this point in time. And if you don't try, you really don't have any opportunity to make it," said Longmire.
Private schools we spoke with say they have their budgets already set for this school year, and the vouchers, or lack thereof, won't affect their bottom lines.
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