Marc Duff Presentation

Marc Duff, Chief Financial Officer
Racine Unified School District
• Worked in RUSD Finance Department for over 7 years
• Served on the New Berlin Board of Education (1 term)
• Representative to the Assembly from 1989-2002
- Served on Education Committees
- Joint Committee on Finance
Public School Administrator with Baggage
Disclaimer: These are my opinions and not those of RUSD
Voucher Intent Not Too Long Ago
• Voucher schools could serve as neighborhood
schools in Milwaukee
• Give low income parents in MKE an alternative to
public schools not meeting their children’s needs
• Give other private schools a chance to address
achievement gap
• Was considered a “Milwaukee” problem
Welcome to the party!
Vouchers Transformed
low-income students
(mostly minority)
Attending Public Schools
Better Performing Schools
(Achievement Gap)
low-middle income
Most Attend Private Schools
Public Schools Outperform
on test scores
Vouchers Transformed
Parent Empowerment …….but no accountability
Working on it……..
Competition ….but dwindling public school resources
Lower Cost ….but it actually costs more taxpayer dollars
“More state revenue is spent per pupil in MPCP schools to
achieve proficient or advanced score than in MPS (which has a
higher percentage of poor students)…”
Forward Institute, Wisconsin Budget Policy & Poverty in Education 2013
Racine Unified Experience
• Enrollment declining – about ½ RUSD students
- Eventually close schools
- Reduce staff
• Higher cost students remain
• More district resources to private schools
- Higher private school transportation costs
- Additional RUSD special ed and Title staff to private schools
- Course options costs starting for private school students taking
• Private school impact
- Increase hours of instruction
- Manipulate enrollment to benefit existing students
- Compete with other private schools
- Development of entrepreneurial voucher schools
- Private school failures…kids return to public schools
MPCP 40% School Failure Rate
128 schools left the MPCP. Those schools have received over $388
million dollars in public funds. About $200 million have gone to
schools that simply closed.
*As cited by Michael Ford Ph.D.,2013 WASB Legislative Advocacy Conference
Taxpayer Funds to Schools
that Left
the MPCP
Taxpayer Funds to Schools
that Closed
Taxpayer Funds to School
Still in MPCP
Also keeping
Racine Unified Experience
• Immediate review to enhance schools
“Innovate or die!” – Ann Laing, RUSD Superintendent, 2011-2013
• Sense of urgency to change
- Focus on academics
- New Buildings
- Technology
Focus on initiatives public
schools have an advantage
Reach out to parents about
over private schools
• Develop promotional programs for competition
- Magnet school expansion…Montessori
• Entertain educational options (e.g. Charter schools)
• Implement marketing programs
Research - MPCP
The “Cropping Effect”
These studies cover three topics:
1) What is the impact of accountability policy
on student achievement in MPCP?
2) How do students who exit MPCP and return
to MPS perform when they move back?
3) What types of students stay in voucher
schools and what types of students exit
The Cropping Effect
“Students who leave the MPCP and enroll in MPS are –
relative to both the population of MPS and the full
MPCP evaluation sample – disproportionately Black,
low achieving, eligible for FRL, and designated for
academic special needs. In sum, the students who
leave the MPCP and enroll in MPS are among the most
disadvantaged along multiple dimensions.”
“Life After Vouchers: What Happens to Students Who Leave Private Schools for the Traditional Public
– Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, June 2013
Vouchers “Out-State” –
What to Expect
• Assume caps on enrollment are temporary
• Challenged urban districts will lose more students to
• A voucher school in smaller districts could be a greater
• Parents of existing private school students will benefit
the most – financially
• Because of the creation of another system of contracted
public schools …funding will be limited for traditional
public school systems
• Entrepreneurial schools will emerge – some questionable
Milwaukee Voucher Experience?
• The voucher experience in Milwaukee is a
different ballgame
Over 20,000 students participating (about 20%)
Over 100 participating voucher schools
Evidence in Racine indicates continued movement toward
the Milwaukee experience….
Expanded and new voucher schools proposed for 2015-16 in Racine
More Vouchers and Charters
Expansion of statewide program
Addition of independent charters
Special education vouchers
Another group to compete for state funding
Development of a dual public school system
Traditional public & Public/Private

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