“This is the worst budget in over 30 years,” the Chippewa Valley Superintendent told me. “We’ve had worse spending cuts, but not a wholesale change in policy.”
Educators worry a dramatic increase in public money for private schools will threaten already cash-strapped local schools. The proposed state budget makes statewide a “voucher program” in which students from “failing” public school districts attend private schools with public money.
Private schools do not follow the same accountability measures as public schools. They do not report test scores, follow state curricular standards, nor do they receive the recently required public school report cards.
The Governor proposed a $78 million expansion of vouchers to school districts with at least 4,000 students and at least two schools that are near failing or failing on the school report card.
Critics fear the increased voucher program will drain money away from public schools’ resources and cause an increase in local property taxes.