This week has marked the tenth annual National School Choice Week, a celebration of educational options all over the country, but in Wisconsin, school choice is a much older tradition. Here, 2020 marks the thirty-year anniversary of school vouchers aka the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP). As we celebrate this legacy, I sat down with State Senator Alberta Darling, an education reform champion who has been in the fight from the beginning, to talk about her battles in the legislature to expand school choice, what she would do if she were governor for a day, and why school choice is no longer a bipartisan issue.
Darling entered the Wisconsin assembly in a 1990 special election. In 1992 she was elected into the Senate representing the eighth district, which includes part of Milwaukee county and areas to the north and west. Before long, she found herself deep in the weeds of the controversial fight for school vouchers.