Private school sues public district over transportation


MADISON – The number of voucher schools in Wisconsin continues to rise and is a growing trend throughout the state. Governor Walker supports the program funded by taxpayers, which provides parents an option and taxpayer-funded tuition subsidy to attend a private school, which are typically religious.

A recent budget estimate from Gov. Walker estimates the programs to cost $263 million, enrolling 34,000 students statewide in the next school year.

Recently, a Milwaukee-area private school, St. Joan Antida High School filed a lawsuit against Milwaukee Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, for transportation costs.

St. Joan wants MPS to provide transportation to 70 students who live more than 2 miles away from the school.

MPS doesn’t comment on on-going litigation but St. Joan’s, Head of School Paul T. Gessner issued a statement defending the lawsuit, saying in part:

“Safe and reliable student transportation is a top priority for St. Joan Antida High School families and the leadership team of the school. State law requires that Milwaukee Public Schools provide transportation as a basic need for families living within the district. Without transportation, our families do not have the option to send their children to the school of their choice.

On behalf of our families, we have requested that MPS honor its role and responsibility in ensuring that our students’ transportation needs are met in the same manner that it does for students attending city-wide public schools. It is our intent to achieve a fair resolution to this issue, utilizing the court system, so that our students and their families receive the same transportation benefits as those attending public city-wide high schools.”

Read more of Gessner’s statement here.