Lobbyists for private schools gave lots of cash to Republican lawmakers in recent elections. Gov. Scott Walker now proposes to funnel millions to private schools while reducing funds to public schools. It's a recipe for disaster.
The governor proposes to increase funding for existing private and religious schools, so-called voucher schools, in Milwaukee and Racine; and expand vouchers to nine new school districts.
Educators say the choice of a private school is not better and sometimes much worse. Private schools don't accept every child, or submit standardized test results, or require certified teachers or open books.
Despite this, the governor proposes to freeze spending for the 870,000 students in public schools, and provide increased state aid of only $129 million over two years. For the 25,000 students in private vouchers schools, he expands the system and proposes $73 million in additional funding.
Worse, when the state pays vouchers it takes money from the school district. The district is left to cut programs and seek higher property taxes.
Voice your support for public schools: better education at a choice of locations. Ask lawmakers to remove added funding for vouchers. Sen. Frank Lasee's number is 608-266-3512, Rep. Andre Jacque's is 888-534-0002.