Voucher organization requests addresses of La Crosse students

District required by state law to honor information request

The La Crosse School District wants parents to know about information it will be sharing with an outside organization.

School Choice Wisconsin is a non-profit in favor of expanding school vouchers in the state. The group recently filed a records request with the La Crosse school district to get the addresses of every student for the purpose of mailing parents information about vouchers.

The school district is required by state law to provide the information, but parents can opt out.

“We normally wouldn’t have a window of time (to opt out), but this particular organization allowed us some extra time to provide options for parents,” La Crosse Superintendent Randy Nelson said.

Nelson realizes that the school’s public information could be used to lure students out of public schools.

“The very premise of public school is that our data is public and that we do things in public. We adopted budgets in public, we elect officials in public, and so one of the things that was a challenge for me just to get my head around is that those very pieces of transparency that we hang our hat on as a public institution were being used in some ways to recruit students away from our public institutions,” said Nelson.

If you don’t want to get mail from School Choice Wisconsin, you have four ways to opt out:

Send an e-mail to optout15@lacrosseschools.org with your name and the names of your children, and a statement saying you wish to opt out of data requests.
Change your child’s directory data/information preferences through “Family Access” on the school district’s online student information system.
Visit the office of your child’s school and ask for the Release of Student Directory Information form
Call School Choice Wisconsin directly at 1-855-827-1372

There’s a 14-day window to opt out.