UPDATE: The state Assembly has signed off on a bill that would prevent school voucher programs from expanding further across Wisconsin. The Assembly passed the measure Tuesday afternoon on a voice vote with no discussion. The bill now heads to the governor.
The Wisconsin Association of School Boards says a “deal is a deal” and hopes Assembly lawmakers today can honor an earlier agreement to limit school vouchers to Milwaukee County and Racine.
Assembly Republicans slipped a provision into the state budget last summer that would allow choice schools to pop up into other areas of the state. After that, a deal was reached between Senate President Mike Ellis and Assembly Joint Finance Co-chair Robin Vos, to stop the expansion through a “voucher fix” bill.
In October, the Senate passed the legislation but the Assembly did not act quickly enough before the end of the fall session.
Joe Quick, WASB governmental relations director, says although the fix was supposed to happen last fall, the group is “pleased” it is being taken up. Quick says it was “wrong” for lawmakers to slip the voucher expansion into the budget, a process that foregoes public input. He says both parties have been guilty of sticking such items into the budget.