Friday, July 12, 2013

Wiggy: School choice plan doesn’t go far enough

School choice plan doesn’t go far enough
Parents, students deserve more options statewide
Waukesha Freeman 7/11/13 Page A6 Opinion

I won’t pretend that I’m happy with the final compromise in the state budget regarding the expansion of private school choice, commonly referred to as vouchers.

When other states are moving forward boldly in expanding private school choice opportunities, the state where school choice began is now falling behind.

Five hundred students statewide the first year is a drop in the bucket. Gov. Scott Walker’s plan was not much better, but at least it targeted districts with failing schools and offered more students and parents private school choice.

However, the compromise does show the hypocrisy of school choice critics. State Sen. Mike Ellis had two main complaints about the governor’s plan. He said he wanted “local control” with school districts deciding whether to participate in school choice. He also said it would be unfair in school districts to have a lottery to determine who could go to private schools.

Guess what? We have a lottery, and it’s statewide. So much for local control.

Now that it is statewide, school choice opponents are nervous that the enrollment caps will be removed by a future session of the Legislature. We can only hope.
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  1. "He who pays the piper, picks the tune." If the state is signing a voucher check, state control of private schools is imminent.

    1. Here's a comment from a previous post on the topic by Dad29:

      In reality, the tax-credit is FAR superior to "choice" funding. While the credit is granted to families regardless of which (non-public) school is chosen, thus encouraging such choice, the "choice" funding is sent directly to a school. The school, therefore, is in a position where it will be subject to the State's demands for 'content of curriculum'--which WILL happen at some point in time.

      In contrast, the tax-credit method cannot "direct" school curriculum. There is no direct connection between the money (credit) and the school, thus no leverage.


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