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.

1 year, 7 months ago

Governors in Iowa, North Dakota and Alabama join GOP colleagues in banning TikTok for state employees

The Republican governors of three more states have joined the growing number of GOP governors who are banning TikTok among state government employees amid security concerns about the Chinese-owned social media platform

1 year, 7 months ago

Arizona Governor Creates Shipping Container Border Wall

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has had hundreds of double-stacked shipping containers topped with razor wire placed on the state’s border with Mexico

1 year, 7 months ago

Stacey Abrams’s Georgia Nonprofit Could Face Criminal Investigations for Unlicensed Fundraising

New Georgia Project's charity license has lapsed in at least nine states

1 year, 7 months ago

Biden says ‘more important things’ than border visit, despite 59 trips to Delaware, 8 stops for ice cream

Biden has yet to visit southern border despite historic crisis under his watch

1 year, 7 months ago

Governor Kristi Noem delivers annual Budget Address, says the state can afford grocery tax cut

In about thirty minutes of remarks, Governor Kristi Noem laid out her administration would like to see nearly $2.2 billion spent over the course of the next fiscal year and a half.

1 year, 7 months ago

‘A Clear And Present Danger To Its Users:’ South Carolina Gov. Bans State Employees From Using TikTok Amid National Security Concerns

South Carolina became the second state in the union Monday to permanently ban state employees’ electronic devices from using TikTok amid federal officials sounding the alarm that the Chinese-based social media app threatens national security