LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—A new study, Wisconsin Budget Policy and Poverty in Education, by the Forward Institute, raises concerns over Governor Walker's expansion of the Voucher School Program.
They predict, over the next ten years, the achievement gap between students who come from affluent areas and students in poverty will increase.
Forward Institute said we need to give more funding to schools to help economically disadvantaged students to close that gap.
To do that, they suggest ending the voucher school program in ten years, and adopting State Superintendent Tony Evers Fair Funding Formula.
"And do what we need to do in the public schools which then makes the voucher debate irrelevant because at that point the public schools are now the best opportunity for children not only in poverty areas but statewide," Scott Wittkopf, Chair, Forward Institute said.
Gov. Walker supports the expansion of a school voucher program beyond Milwaukee to nine other Wisconsin school districts.
The governor has said he wants students in what he calls under performing schools to have options.
Jim Bender, School Choice Wisconsin President said the study follows the same academic philosophy of many grade school reports, fancy graphs, big words and an impressive cover page graphic.
"This isn't research," Bender said. "It is myth perpetuation. There are so many factual errors and gross misinterpretations that it would take another 75 page "study" to highlight all of the errors. Clearly, the Forward Institute is not a research organization and is merely creating more unfounded talking points for school choice opponents."