MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Nine Wisconsin school districts could each lose up to $1.4 million in state aid under Governor Scott Walker’s private school voucher plan.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau says the maximum losses would occur if 110 students in each district take tax-funded vouchers to go to private schools.
The bureau said each school system could make up for part of the losses by raising local property taxes anywhere from $123,000 to $341,000.
The Republican Walker says more kids need the type of private school choice that low-income kids in Milwaukee have had for two decades. He said it would give more kids in underperforming public schools a chance for a better education.
But Republican Senate Education chairman Luther Olsen of Ripon says the new fiscal bureau report confirms an extremely high cost to local taxpayers. And like other government programs, Olsen fears that it will go out of control in the future. He says, “We can hardly pay for one school system – how are we going to pay for another?”
Jim Bender of School Choice Wisconsin says the statewide effect would be negligible, because other public schools would share the state aid that the voucher districts lose.
Walker’s budget would expand vouchers to Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, Waukesha, West Allis, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Beloit, and Superior.