Democrats slam Gov. Walker's proposed voucher school expansion - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Democrats slam Gov. Walker's proposed voucher school expansion


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) joined La Crosse area democrats and school district employees in condemning Governor Scott Walker's budget proposal Tuesday. 

Barca, along with Rep. Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska) and Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse) said they view the Governor's increased funding and expansion of the state's voucher school program as detrimental to public education. 

Walker's proposed budget would expand school choice into districts beyond Milwaukee and Racine. 

All districts reporting at least 4-thousand students and a minimum of two schools scoring poorly on state evaluation standards would qualify. 

La Crosse School District Superintendent Randy Nelson said his district is large enough to qualify but does not currently contain two school scoring the necessary, low marks according to state standards. 

But he said he's not ruling out a possible voucher program coming to La Crosse in the years ahead. 

"We do have a couple of schools that are close to the cutoff," Nelson said. "It's not unreasonable to think those schools could be there soon." 

Nelson said the district is "working hard" to improve the scores at the aforementioned schools. 

But he said the state's newly implemented evaluation standards are more rigorous than those previously followed, meaning more schools might find themselves struggling to make the grade. 

The Governor's budget proposal is currently under review by the legislature's joint finance committee. 

Upon passage, the budget will be voted on in the state assembly and then the state senate. It must be approved by the end of June, with the state's new fiscal year beginning in July. 


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