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Why I Disagree with Governor Walker on the Voucher Deal

by Jerry Bader

Walker's defense of the statewide deal sounds very much like that of School Choice Wisconsin President Jim Bender on my show Friday.Let's get a statewide voucher program going, no matter how meager it might be(and it's very, very meager) and then we'll grow it every two years.. There are problems with that logic.

One, it assumes Republicans will have all levers of power in state government for the foreseeable future. Bad assumption. It's why conservatives want Republicans to get as much done as possible when they have all the power. Which leads to problem number two: if you can't do something more ambitious than this with all the levers of power, why should we keep giving them to you? 

Three: if this is a compromise what did Senator Mike Ellis, chief Republican opponent of voucher expansion, give up? Okay, he allows a statewide voucher program. Why would he do that when he opposed expanding it to 9 cities. Easy; he thinks it'll die in the cradle. If he didn't, he wouldn't sign off on it. This is so small that meaningful results will be difficult to measure.

And even if you retain power, who says Ellis won't come back and fight you every two years. With all due respect Governor, this is a defeat.