Governor Scott Walker is dropping more hints about expanding school vouchers in Wisconsin. But people familiar with the long-running Milwaukee voucher program have some warnings for Walker.
Governor Walker spoke at a national school choice week rally in Milwaukee and later filled in more blanks for reporters about how his state budget proposal may try to expand taxpayer-funded school vouchers: "We're not looking at it solely by community. We're trying to eventually provide as many families as possible with a viable option if they have a failing school in their community."
Walker says he and others are still working on ways to assess different types of schools. Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton says the governor should make sure than any new voucher schools are high quality, and not cut funds for public education, "My concern has certainly been that all kids deserve a public education."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also wants Walker's budget to fully fund public education first, and to fix a funding flaw in the Milwaukee voucher program that penalizes city property tax payers. "What I'm seeing is a growing coalition, including businesses, because the current system is very unfair."
The school choice rally in Milwaukee was supposed to be part of a whistle-stop train tour, but the train broke down in Chicago, and never reached Wisconsin.