MADISON – Senator Erpenbach, Representative Pope, and Representative Considine introduced legislation to increase accountability of voucher programs and protect taxpayers. The bills circulated will freeze the number of participants in all three of the state’s voucher programs and require teachers in the voucher programs to be licensed. Additionally, they would limit vouchers to the lesser of the current payment or the school district’s general aid per student, and limit voucher payments to no more than tuition charged. Senator Bewley also introduced legislation to require a referendum before a district loses any aid to voucher operations.
Many taxpayers have had to increase their own taxes in order to keep their public school doors open while vouchers drain the district’s resources without any transparency or accountability. The proposals that were introduced will help to protect taxpayers and our already massively underfunded public schools.
Senator Erpenbach and Representative Pope released the following statements:
“Property taxpayers deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent,” said Senator Erpenbach. “Voucher schools have been draining aid away from public schools, while not being held to the same standards. These proposals are commonsense ways to level the playing field.”
“97% of our public school districts receive less in general aid than choice programs,” said Representative Pope. “Taxpayers deserve full transparency when it comes to the unreliable voucher program, and assurance that their kids are able to get the best education possible.”