The new Wisconsin governor is considering sweeping reforms in Madison, one of which could directly impact Beloit schools.
Gov. Scott Walker and the incoming Republican legislature assumed power in the state Monday and wasted no time in introducing the possibility of expanding the state’s school voucher program. The program, presently instituted in the Milwaukee area, allows students to receive taxpayer-financed vouchers to attend private schools, including religious schools. Just under 21,000 of the maximum 22,500 students enrolled in the program this year.
The governor has identified Beloit as one place where the vouchers could be phased in as part of a trial effort to spread the program statewide.
“I think school choice is successful,” Walker told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “I think it’s worth looking at expanding it. How do you do that? There’s really a multitude of options, not only those being discussed in other parts of the country. And we want to continue to be at the forefront of that.”
Beloit School District Superintendent Milt Thompson said he views the potential voucher introduction as yet another reason for the district to reassess its direction.
“My concern is that the district has to become conscious of today’s market. If you have a system that is attractive, people will send their kids here. If you don’t, the days of an educational monopoly are over,” he said.
Additional choices for our communities is a good thing. Thompson’s perspective is correct and useful.