Evers to propose freezing voucher and charter school enrollments

Governor Tony Evers is expected to include in his state budget plan this week proposals to freeze the number of students attending private voucher and charter schools, place tougher teacher certification standards on private schools accepting students with special needs, and abolish the law that allows Milwaukee Public Schools to be taken over by private entities.

“This signals a good first step on Wisconsin’s journey to provide all children with opportunity through high-quality, fully funded public schools,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “For three decades, privatization lobbyists have siphoned funding from public schools into private operations. If we care about all students, Wisconsin should invest in the schools that serve all students. That’s common sense.”

The governor’s plan, which would be accomplished through a phased-in approach:

  • Freezes the number of students who may enroll in private voucher schools;
  • Suspends the creation of new privately run charter schools until 2023;
  • Eliminates the law requiring Milwaukee County officials to turn public schools into charter schools without district officials’ approval;
  • Increases standards for teachers in private voucher schools;
  • Requires tax-funded private schools to be accredited; and
  • Provides taxpayers with information about how much of their taxes are siphoned from public schools to pay private school tuition.

Republican legislative leaders and private school lobbyists have said they will oppose the governor’s plans, despite overwhelming support for public schools demonstrated by voters leading up to last November’s election.

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Gov. Tony Evers seeks to freeze enrollment in private voucher schools, suspend charter school expansion

Gov.-elect Tony Evers chats with high school students at an event in the Wisconsin Operating Engineers’ training center in Coloma. (Photo11: Molly Beck / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers in his first state budget is seeking to undo expansions of private voucher schools and independent charter schools passed by Republicans over the last decade.