School choice programs aren’t in conflict with public education

Jim Bender:

There have been a number of conflict-based education stories on the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP) recently. In that mold, a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looked at expansion of the WPCP in a piece titled “Tensions rise as vouchers pick up traction across Wisconsin.

Pitting one school type against another creates the structure for this narrative. Unfortunately, to maximize impact, a great deal of context was omitted from the story and positive collaboration was overlooked.

The story begins by painting a wonderful picture of the Chilton school district. However, an ominous, dark cloud is approaching — the WPCP. Cue the dramatic music.

The column insinuates that athletics and theater at Chilton are at risk now that a local Catholic school has joined the WPCP. Allegedly, pending enrollment declines will impose great harm or inflict higher property taxes.