School choice advocates: Gov. Evers shuts kids out of chance at better education

The backlash to Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of an expansion for Wisconsin’s school choice program is swift and growing.

Per APG Wisconsin:

The backlash to Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of an expansion for Wisconsin’s school choice program is swift and growing.

The governor on Friday scuttled a plan (AB 59) that would have expanded eligibility in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program to families who make up to 300% of the federal poverty level. That’s about $80,000 a year for a family of four. Currently the program is capped at 220% of the FPL, or about $57,000 for a family of four.

CJ Szafir, president at the Institute for Reforming Government, said the governor is campaigning for reelection as "the education governor," yet he is taking away a shot at a better education for many kids in the state.

"With so many public schools closed this year, it's more important than ever for policymakers to focus on giving all children the opportunity to attend a high quality K-12 school,” Szafir said. “Unfortunately Governor Evers' veto denies families access to more educational options for their children. It's disappointing especially when so many students are struggling.”

The governor said he vetoed the expansion because he doesn’t want to take money away from traditional public schools.

“I object to diverting resources from school districts to private schools,” Evers explained.

The governor also worried in his veto message about adding a burden to local school administrators who would have to track the students who leave their district.

Justin Moralez, state director for the Wisconsin Federation for Children, said the governor’s concerns about many more students opting out of their local public school shows why the voucher program expansion is necessary.

“The WPCP is meeting a demand, especially during the pandemic, and families in the 220%-300% income threshold are looking for the same access rather than unfair exclusion,” Moralez said Monday. “[Gov.] Evers has shown that he thinks some Wisconsin residents are more deserving of equal education access than their neighbors across the state.”

Moralez said the decision to veto the expansion will “actively harm” working class parents in Wisconsin.

Over 12,000 students were enrolled in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program last fall. Another 28,000-plus were enrolled in Milwaukee’s Parental Choice Program and almost 4,000 students are enrolled in the Parental Choice Program in Racine.

School choice supporters say those numbers would surely grow if more parents were given a choice for the child’s education.

2 days, 14 hours ago

Virginia Democrats Voted to Allow Schools to Refrain from Reporting Sexual Battery in 2020

Virginia Democrats passed a law allowing schools to refrain from reporting instances of sexual battery, stalking, and other crimes occurring on school property in 2020

3 days, 10 hours ago

Sen. Tim Scott endorses McMaster in South Carolina governor's race

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott didn't endorse a primary candidate in South Carolina's 2018 gubernatorial race, but for 2022, he's offering an early nod to incumbent Republican Gov. Henry McMaster.

4 days, 13 hours ago

Youngkin says education is top issue in Virginia governor race: 'Parents are absolutely angry'

Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday referred to education as the top issue in the state's election

4 days, 16 hours ago

Abbott Completely Bans Vaccine Mandates By Any Employer In Texas

"The Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates."

5 days, 16 hours ago

Gov’s campaign paid $87.5K more to ex-staffer

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign paid an additional $87,500 over the past six months as part of a settlement with a former staff member who had accused her of sexual mistreatment during a 2018 meeting

1 week, 1 day ago

Arizona border just as ‘out of control’ as Texas, Gov. Doug Ducey warns

Border Patrol agents in western Arizona’s Yuma region have encountered 1,038% more suspected illegal immigrants year-over-year.