Audit of SAGE program defeated

Amy Hetzner:

A joint legislative committee deadlocked Wednesday on whether to study Wisconsin’s class-size reduction program, ultimately defeating the measure in what Republicans called a partisan maneuver and Democrats hailed as supporting a popular initiative.
In proposing an audit of the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education program, or SAGE, Republican lawmakers characterized it as a routine request for a decade-old program that the governor has recommended spending $109 million on in the next school year.
State Rep. Kitty Rhoades (R-Hudson) also raised concerns about the state Department of Public Instruction’s practice of granting waivers that allow school districts to exceed the 15-student class limit called for in the law.
“The waiver process was not established by statute, nor was it established by the Legislature, nor do we even know what it is,” she said during a hearing Wednesday.