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Letter: Vouchers are just subsidizing current private school families

11:54 PM, Sep. 16, 2013  |  Comments
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EDITOR: Would someone kindly explain to me what the current rationale is for the school voucher program in Wisconsin?

As I remember it, the school voucher privilege was a way of allowing students in Milwaukee to escape from public schools because the schools were atrocious or dangerous. Then Gov. Scott Walker proposed extending the program to Kenosha and several other cities, presumably because they had similar problems to Milwaukee in their public schools. Now the Republicans have extended the program all over the state.

The result is that in Marshfield, which, based on test scores, has an outstanding public high school, in a state which, based on test scores, has an outstanding public high school system, students are becoming eligible for vouchers to attend Columbus Catholic schools in the parochial school system. Then, according to a News-Herald Media report this month, 15 out of 25 voucher eligible students are already attending Columbus schools. So instead of prompting a flight from the public school system, most of the vouchers here will subsidize students who are already attending parochial schools.

Seemingly, at least in cities like Marshfield, the voucher program is becoming largely a form of financial aid for students who are already in the parochial school system.

Is this an instance of voucher creep?

James Alexander,

Marshfield

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