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As I See It

Tax bills should make clear what voucher schools are costing us

Scott Robert Shaw



That property tax bill you just paid makes clear where most of your money is going. It breaks down the amount of your property tax that is going to the city, the county, the school district and the local technical college district. But the breakdown does not include the costs of funding voucher schools in Wisconsin. And that number is growing rapidly. Wisconsin taxpayers are on the hook for more than $54 million in state spending on voucher schools, which allow students to attend private schools at taxpayer expense. Some lawmakers in Madison have introduced legislation to at least force the state to show on our tax bills just how much of our money is going to fund voucher schools. Recent legislation would also freeze the number of participants in the program, would require teachers in the voucher program to be licensed, and would make sure the amount given to voucher schools by the state is not more than they charge in tuition. Because currently that is the case. Many voucher schools in Wisconsin charge less in tuition than they receive in voucher payments. That shouldn’t be the case. If we’re going to shell out millions of dollars, there needs to be some oversight. And taxpayers deserve to know just what these voucher schools are actually costing us.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Avatar

    Jeffery Pralle

    January 15, 2020 at 7:51 am

    Check out what is true please. When a student chooses to go to a voucher school the public school still get tax dollars for that student even when they are not going there, And the voucher school does not get the same dollars as the public school. In total it saves the state taxpayer dollars. Why does the public school get dollars for a student who does not go there?? I think they are costing the taxpayer dollars not voucher school.And when public schools teach reward for behavior and social engineering and less the basics of education I can see why we need more voucher schools. Our publis school continue to fall behind the rest of the world in education.

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    Colleen LeBlanc

    January 15, 2020 at 8:26 am

    I agree Scott Robert Shaw. Oversight is absolutely needed and of course the taxpayers should have details! This program has ballooned and seems to have no guidelines or laws to direct it. Transparency is a good thing.

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