Wisconsin Legislature: Full Speed Ahead on Destruction of Public Education

Given the demonstrated failure of voucher schools and charter schools in Milwaukee to outperform the public schools, you might expect that the Legislature would stop expanding both forms of privatization. But you would be wrong. Here are some recent legislative actions, as reported by blogger Steve Strieker:

The WI GOP committee members moved forward with a vote on their education budget package that does the following:

Removes the cap on statewide vouchers and prohibits districts from levying to replace the lost state aid

Creates a special needs voucher program

Allows operators of privately run charters to open new schools under conditions specified by the legislature

Allows for the takeover of struggling public schools in Milwaukee under the control of an appointed commissioner to convert them to voucher or charter schools while paving the way for similar takeovers in other school districts

Provides for licensure of individuals with minimal qualifications, some with little more than a high school diploma, to teach in our public schools

Requires passing a civics exam to graduate from high school

It turns out that most of the applicants to the voucher program (86%) previously attended a private school, not a public school. This is a subsidy to families whose children already are enrolled in private schools, not an “escape” for “poor children trapped in failing public schools” (reformster talk).

http://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/news-release/dpinr2015_53.pdf

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