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Governor May Back Off on School Vouchers

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Gov. Scott Walker speaks on his Wisconsin Working plan at MCL Industries in Pulaski, Jan. 9, 2012. (courtesy of FOX 11).
Gov. Scott Walker speaks on his Wisconsin Working plan at MCL Industries in Pulaski, Jan. 9, 2012. (courtesy of FOX 11).

MADISON, Wis.(WHBL) - Governor Scott Walker now says he might consider scaling back his proposed expansion of Wisconsin’s private school voucher program. Senators in his own Republican party have balked at the governor’s budget plan to let parents in up to nine more school districts, including Sheboygan, decide whether to get tax-funded vouchers to send their kids to private schools.

Yesterday Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s editorial board that he might consider narrowing down the choice option to only those in schools which are not meeting state performance standards. That way, better-performing schools would not risk losing students and state aid to private schools in their districts. Walker said he’s most concerned about giving parents in poor-performing schools an option to improve their children’s education.

Also, Walker said he would consider requiring the private schools which get voucher tax money to be part of the state’s report card system. That system takes the place of the No Child Left Behind Act, and the new “A”-to-“F” grades will be used to reward the best schools and challenge the worst ones. The first report cards came out last year, and Senate Education Committee chair Luther Olsen says the bugs are still being worked out. Olsen believes it’s too early to link major state funds to those report cards.

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