Wisconsin News

Democratic lawmakers speak out against school voucher expansion

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Democratic lawmakers are continuing their push throughout Wisconsin to inform the public about the school voucher proposal in the budget.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca joined local elected officials Tuesday outside of Lincoln Middle School in La Crosse.

They're speaking out against the proposal that will allow parents in certain districts to send their children to private schools, and the state picks up the tab.

Governor Walker and republicans say it provides the choice parents need when they live in a district with failing schools according to the latest statewide school report cards.

But Barca says the state should focus on funding public schools instead of private ones. "The idea that you would give this huge of an increase once again to the voucher schools and starve the public schools at a time you have a surplus is very troubling, I think to education professionals and also to parents," said Rep. Barca.

None of our area schools would qualify for the voucher program.

La Crosse's superintendent questions the implementation so quickly using the state report cards in their first year. "It does not capture what our public schools do in supporting children, supporting families, and supporting our community, and so it's rather shortsighted and besides that, I think it's going to take 5-10 years before people understand the calculations behind that report card," said Superintendent Randy Nelson.

The budget is expected to be discussed and voted on in the Assembly some time in June.

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