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Gov. Evers signs bill requiring UW to admit top Wisconsin high school students



FILE - David Muir of ABC News gives the commencement address during graduation, May 12, 2018, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday signed into law a bipartisan measure that requires the University of Wisconsin-Madison to admit all high school students who finish in the top 5% of their class.

All other UW campuses would have to admit those in the top 10%, under the measure.

The new law is part of a deal reached between Republicans on the Legislature and the university in December that also limits diversity positions at the system’s two dozen campuses in exchange for money to cover already approved staff raises that were in the state budget, and construction projects that already had bipartisan support.

Those projects, though, did not include Phase 2 of the UW-La Crosse Prairie Springs Science Center, which has been held up by the GOP for over five years.

A legislative committee gave final approval for the pay raises in December, and now a series of bills are working their way through the Legislature enacting other parts of the deal.

Evers said the new law will help address the state’s worker shortage.

“Our UW System is a critical partner in this work as a major economic driver and a critical resource for building our state’s next-generation workforce by helping train and retain the talented students we already have here in Wisconsin,” Evers said in a statement.

The university said when the Legislature passed the measure that it supported the guaranteed admission proposal “because it will help encourage the top students in Wisconsin to remain in-state for their postsecondary education, and will encourage more of these students to remain here after graduation.”

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