The Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee continues its review of Governor Scott Walker’s budget with varying degrees of success. There are some baffling policy proposals in the budget that need a lot of work. But the proposal that would unquestionably do the most damage to Madison is the one to expand the school voucher program. In fact, if the $73 Million expansion is approved, and public school spending is frozen, one could argue it would damage the entire state.
Even worse, passage of a voucher expansion to include Madison would come at a time when Madison is poised to support the broadest, most inclusive and thoughtful dialogue about public schools and the achievement gap in decades. Vouchers and not only completely unnecessary, they inject unneeded politics into an important education conversation. We ask lawmakers to please reject this proposal so the people of Madison can go about this critical work.
Vouchers are not a existential threat to our local schools. Rather, ongoing disastrous reading scores merit endless attention and action.