Private school voucher expansion: A growing taxpayer-funded entitlement

Tom Beebe:

Many observers have called Gov.Scott Walker’s proposal to expand private school vouchers bad education policy. I agree. Today I would like to address voucher expansion from the perspective of fiscal policy.
If voucher advocates are successful in expanding private school vouchers in this budget, vouchers will eventually become one of the largest taxpayer-funded entitlements in Wisconsin.
I realize this is a strong statement. I also understand that voucher proponents argue the Governor’s proposal increases voucher eligibility to just nine new school districts in 2013-14. If you let the nose of the camel inside the tent, however, it won’t be long before the rest of the camel is inside the tent as well.
The ultimate objective of private school voucher advocates is a statewide system of private school vouchers for all Wisconsin school children. Voucher advocates, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, have repeatedly voiced their support for statewide vouchers. This objective became crystal-clear in a recent news interview when School Choice Wisconsin Vice-President Terry Brown identified the goal of voucher proponents as “a voucher in every backpack.”
So, how much could this entitlement end up costing Wisconsin taxpayers?