Audit: Scholarship program cost public schools $4.1 million

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A new audit shows a state program that provides scholarships to private school students cost public schools $4.1 million over the last two years.

The Legislative Audit Bureau released a report Friday showing 306 students participated in the program during the 2016-17 or 2017-18 school year.

The 26 participating private schools received $5.6 million in scholarships over those years. The 25 public school districts where the scholarship students resided received $4.1 million less in state aid over those years because of the program.

The audit also found about three-quarters of participating students lived within the Milwaukee school district's boundaries. About a fourth of the students who participated at some point during the 2016-17 or 2017-18 school years had attended a public school in the year prior to participating.