GOP plan would push costs for vouchers onto districts

0
The Senate's budget plan would push voucher costs onto schools
The Senate's budget plan would push voucher costs onto schools

MADISON- According to the new budget plan released by Senate Republicans, a growing amount of cost for Wisconsin’s voucher programs would be pushed onto local school districts and taxpayers. Under the proposal, Wisconsin’s three voucher programs would grow by nearly $60 million over the next two years. Of the total $580.6 million to be spent on the state’s voucher programs, $210.6 million would be paid for with cuts in state aid to local districts.

Annysa Johnson at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

A budget plan proposed by Senate Republicans would increase funding for the state’s three main private school voucher programs by nearly $60 million over the next two years, according to an analysis by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau made public on Tuesday.

And a growing percentage of those costs, it said, would be borne by local school districts and their taxpayers.

According to the fiscal bureau, the Republican plan would spend $580.6 million on the Milwaukee, Racine and Statewide Parental Choice programs over the next two years. But more than a third of that — $210.6 million — would be paid for with cuts in state aid to the affected districts, which would have to either reduce their budgets or increase taxes to fill those holes.

Hardest hit would be districts that lose students to the Racine and statewide voucher programs. Those programs would cost $145.6 million over the next two years, with local districts and taxpayers picking up $82.6 million or 83%, up from $43 million, or 55%, in the last biennium.

Milwaukee Public Schools’ share of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program would go down, from $53 million to $42.7 million.

The report fueled the frustrations of public school advocates, who have fought the continued expansion of the state’s voucher programs.

Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.