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As I See It

Fund public schools or private schools? We can’t afford both



Wisconsin’s candidates for Governor disagree on many issues. But perhaps no single issue illustrates the disparity in their vision for the states as education. Governor Tony Evers has spent his life in public education, as a teacher, a principal, and as the state’s superintendent of schools. His opponent, Tim Michels, is calling not to build up Wisconsin’s public schools, but to tear them down. He calls putting more money into public education in Wisconsin “the definition of insanity.” He prefers an immediate statewide expansion of the school voucher program, using taxpayer dollars to send children to private schools. The problem with Michels’ plan is that every dollar that is used to send students to private schools is a dollar that isn’t going to fund public education. No wonder so many school districts are turning to voters for more funding in November referendums. Wisconsin’s school voucher program hasn’t exactly been a resounding success. The program has grown from just a few hundred students when school vouchers were first offered to more than 47,000 statewide today. But there is zero evidence that students attending private schools are getting a better education. Test scores show that students attending voucher schools are no better at reading or math than those attending public schools. Putting more money into school vouchers essentially has the state operating two school systems, one public and one private. That simply is unsustainable, and causes further damage to a public education, once known as the great equalizer.

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. Brad

    September 12, 2022 at 9:43 am

    Schools need to be taken away from government control, and the parents need to get more involved. WE need to stop the government grooming of the children. Yes I said the government grooming of the children.

    • SimWolfe

      September 12, 2022 at 12:26 pm

      So you want private and religious grooming? I see. Lol

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