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February 20, 2008

Wisconsin Governor Doyle Caps Virtual School Enrollment

Steven Walters:

It will take a new Capitol compromise to keep Wisconsin's virtual schools open after action Tuesday by the state Senate.

t the request of Gov. Jim Doyle, the Senate voted to cap enrollment for online schools at the current level - now about 3,500 students statewide - while a study is done on virtual learning.

Under the Senate changes, that number of online students could not go up again until the 2011-'12 school year, and then only by about 875 students. Dozens of parents and virtual school students came to the Capitol on Tuesday to fight the enrollment cap.

The 18-15 vote by the Senate - controlled by Democrats - sends the measure to the Assembly, which is run by Republicans.

The Assembly will meet for only a few more days before its scheduled adjournment next month. There might not be time to negotiate a compromise to changes dictated by Doyle, who promised to veto any bill without an enrollment cap.

If the Assembly does not act, virtual schools might not continue. In a ruling that threatened all online schools, the Court of Appeals ruled in December that the 800-student Wisconsin Virtual Academy, operated by the Northern Ozaukee School District, was not eligible for state aid, now $5,845 per student per year.

More on Wisconsin Virtual Schools, along with an update from WisPolitics.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at February 20, 2008 8:53 AM
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