Assembly passes voucher school background check requirement


Private schools in Wisconsin’s voucher program would have to conduct employee background checks under a bill passed by the state Assembly. The bill also included some non-controversial technical changes supported by DPI. Having passed the Senate last week, the bill now heads to Scott Walker for his signature. > AP News / Washington Times

Assembly voting today on campus free speech, voucher school changes, election recounts, groundhogs and more


Stories on each vote available at these links: campus free speech bill (Wisconsin Public Radio); voucher school background checks (AP News); limiting election recounts (AP News); allowing hunting of woodchucks (AP News); allowing chiropractors to perform sports exams (AP News); and relaxing the deer baiting/feeding ban in counties with CWD (AP News).


Senate approves changes to private school voucher systems


Private schools in the state’s voucher programs would need to conduct background checks before hiring staff and would no longer need to meet some academic standards under a Senate bill approved Wednesday. The Department of Public Instruction and voucher advocates support the changes, some of which were in State Superintendent Evers’ budget proposal. > Wisconsin State Journal

Lawmakers fast track multi-faceted school choice bill


A school choice bill on a fast track in the Legislature would eliminate some accountability requirements for private schools, while also mandating they conduct the same background checks on employees as public schools, and allowing public schools that lose special-needs students to voucher schools to recoup those funds. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Watch Pocan grill DeVos, and get a 101 on Wisconsin’s experience with school vouchers

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Rep. Mark Pocan grilled Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Wednesday about the performance of Milwaukee’s voucher program, asking if she’d send her kids there.  DeVos deflected, but in their 6-minute exchange (video at link), Pocan and DeVos managed to explain the entire history and controversy over school vouchers in Wisconsin. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

School vouchers cost Fox Cities taxpayers $6 million, with nothing gained


Four years of school choice vouchers in the Fox Cities have cost taxpayers $5,962,502. Yet after two decades of research, studies now suggest that vouchers do not improve student outcomes. These findings come from my study of vouchers in six school districts: Appleton, Kimberly, Kaukauna, Little Chute, Menasha and Neenah. > Appleton Post-Crescent

DeVos, other school choice backers have given Wisconsin $1.5 million in last decade, with Walker getting lion’s share

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The Associated Press has examined political contributions over a 10-year period by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and nearly 50 other individuals and couples who have been major contributors to advancing school choice measures. Donations since 2007 totaled nearly $1.5 million in Wisconsin — with more than a third going to Gov. Walker.  >  AP / Star Tribune