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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he'll demand results from private school vouchers in Green Bay visit

Jul. 2, 2013
 
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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker talks about the new state budget with the Press-Gazette Media editorial board Monday in Green Bay. / H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media

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Gov. Scott Walker said Friday he will use test scores, graduation rates and other measuring sticks to gauge the success of an expanded private school voucher program in Green Bay and elsewhere.

If the program fails to deliver on student performance, Walker said, he will engage advocates of the voucher concept in “a whole other debate.”

The governor made his remarks during a Green Bay visit to Press-Gazette Media just one day after signing the expanded voucher program into law as part of a new $70 billion, two-year state budget.

The budget includes funding to send 500 students to private schools this fall — increasing that number to 1,000 next year — as an alternative to one of Wisconsin’s public school districts.

Proponents hope that the program can be broadened in subsequent years to include more students statewide.

Walker said he is open to future expansion, but only, he said, if students receiving the taxpayer-funded subsidies perform in private schools at least as well as they had been previously in public schools.

Recounting discussions he had with those seeking the statewide effort, the governor said he told them, “Now you’ve got to prove it.”

Scott Cooper Williams writes for Press-Gazette Media, Green Bay

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