Posted October 24, 2019 09:15:00 More than $10 billion was spent on state-sponsored charter schools in Wisconsin last year, with more than 3,200 schools in the state, according to a report by the state Department of Education.
The money was used to build about 1,600 new schools and expand a total of 1,400, with the vast majority of the new charter schools built in rural areas, according the report.
Of the 1,200 charter schools, just over half were built in urban areas.
The report comes amid a federal lawsuit alleging that state-run charter schools discriminate against low-income students, according a report from the Journal Sentinel.
In its findings, the Wisconsin Education Association (WEA) noted that Wisconsin charter schools are located in some of the poorest areas in the country.
In one district, just one out of eight students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, according an analysis by the newspaper.
The WEA called the investigation “one of the most egregious examples of a state’s educational policy being misused by charter school operators.”
The Wisconsin School Boards Association (WSBAs) also called the report “a significant step forward in protecting our public schools from predatory charter operators,” the newspaper reported.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating whether charter operators have violated federal civil rights laws in the charter schools investigation.