February 13, 2016

DPI dealing with short timeline on voucher expansion

The first stage of a statewide expansion of the private school voucher program is set to begin in the next school year, and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers says that means his staff has to work quickly to be ready. Evers says they need to get information out to schools, before they will start taking in applications and determining which schools receive the most.

The program is capped at 500 students in the first year and limited to the 25 schools that receive the most applications. Evers, a frequent critic of school choice programs, says the fall start date is problematic. He says “it’s just such a short time span. We’ll get it done, but it’s not going to be easy.”

AUDIO: Superintendent Tony Evers (:51)

Evers also expects there to be some hiccups along the way, since DPI will be dealing with a large number of schools that have never had any involvement with the choice program. Vouchers have previously only been allowed in Milwaukee and Racine, and he says there’s likely to be some confusion among schools and parents in other parts of the state.

The voucher expansion was approved through the state budget, which Governor Walker signed at the end of June.

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