Wisconsin public education advocates applaud
Governor Evers’ announcement to freeze voucher and independent charter spending
From  Wisconsin Public Education Network

Wisconsin public education advocates applaud Governor Evers’ leadership in proposing a long-overdue freeze on voucher and charter
programs.

Everywhere we go around the state, we hear the same thing: these programs are having a direct negative impact on the children in our public
schools. We are starving the majority of our kids out of desperately needed resources to fund a program that allows children who already attend
private schools to attend them on the public dollar. Both voucher schools and independent non-district charters drain much-needed resources
from public school districts without being subject to local control. Meanwhile, the needs and responsibilities of our public school continue to
increase and both political parties in our state agree that the current funding system is inadequate to meet students’ needs. The people of
Wisconsin have long been saying this isn’t right, and it’s high time their voice was heard and respected by elected state leaders.
The Governor’s proposal is a signal that the era of playing politics with our kids and their schools may finally be over.   

The Wisconsin state legislature has never put vouchers to an up/down vote. Every program under this umbrella has been passed (and often
expanded) without public comment through late-night and last-minute legislation as part of a larger budget package. Meanwhile, polling tells us
Wisconsinites would rather see their taxes go up than more cuts to public schools. We simply can’t afford to play these political games at the
expense of our children.

The taxpayer funded private voucher scandal is nearing its 30thyear of sending funds to unregulated private schools and failing to improve
outcomes for students. The results are as clear as the math: vouchers and independent charters cost Wisconsin $274,003,172.65 in 2017-2018
alone, and our public schools are paying the price.

Governor Evers’ proposal to put the blank check for vouchers and independent charters on hold is one that aligns with both the demand of the
public and the needs of our children. We call on members of the state legislature to follow his lead and do what’s best for our kids and our
communities.

Wisconsinites have long been saying “enough” to an unaccountable system we can’t afford. Let’s come together to reinvest in the schools our
Constitution requires us to serve - 860,000 children are counting on us.