Our Accomplishments

WCRIS advocates for over 600 member schools and the families they serve. We continuously assess the needs of our schools so we can align our goals to help them achieve success in providing the highest quality education possible.


Since our founding in 1974, the Wisconsin Council of Religious & Independent Schools (WCRIS) has:

  • Helped amend the state constitution to provide equitable busing for private school children;
  • Gained inclusion for private schools in the federal E-rate and state TEACH educational technology programs;
  • Advocated for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program to include religious schools and to expand vouchers statewide;
  • Helped create a Wisconsin tax deduction for K-12 tuition expenses, saving private school parents an estimated $30 million annually;
  • Supported the creation of the state’s Special Needs Scholarship Program, which provides vouchers to parents of children with special education needs.

Daily, the WCRIS staff works to:

  • Protect private school students’ access to federal special education services;
  • Provide professional development and support for private school administrators;
  • Prevent countless laws from being passed that hamper our schools’ independence with unneeded regulations and paperwork;
  • Promote educational excellence by facilitating private school participation in the annual Kohl Foundation principal, teacher fellowship, and student scholarship competitions that provides more than $400,000 annually to WCRIS schools;
  • Save our member schools money by negotiating discounts on products and services that help our schools fulfill their various missions.