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Voucher Program Could Expand Statewide


Republican negotiators are considering a plan to expand Wisconsin's Choice or voucher program statewide, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Representatives for Gov. Walker and GOP legislators have been working on a compromise regarding voucher expansion and public school funding.

Initially, the governor proposed expanding the voucher program to all school districts with at least  4,000 students and two failing schools - nine districts in all. Until now, the program has been limited to Milwaukee and Racine.

Walker also wanted to hold flat public school spending while increasing the value of vouchers. Students can use them to attend private schools.

A number of GOP lawmakers did not like the governor's proposals. The compromise reportedly includes expanding vouchers statewide, capping the expansion to several hundred students at the start and increasing funding per public school student.

DPI Superintendent Tony Evers has reacted to what he's heard so far, saying details alarm him. He has criticized the voucher program for failing to demand accountability from private schools receiving public money and not demanding they meet the same legal requirements.

Supporters of the voucher program say the state should support the family's choice of school for their children.