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The Politics of School Vouchers: Analyzing the Milwaukee Parental Choice Plan

This case examines the initiation, development, and implementation of the nation’s oldest and largest publicly-funded school voucher program, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Plan (MPCP). After several years of failed attempts, the program finally gained acceptance in 1990 when voucher proponents teamed up with African American leaders and shifted the ideology of school vouchers from a market-based argument to one that emphasized educational equity. After its early implementation years, this coalition more or less dissolved and a new coalition made up of business interests, church groups, and market orientation advocates took its place.

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