MADISON – Today, Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) released the following statement regarding the impact of private voucher school programs on Wisconsin’s public schools and urged a hearing on Assembly Bill 299:
“Our Wisconsin families overwhelmingly support our neighborhood public schools because these schools are the backbones of our communities. During the last election cycle, communities around the state resoundingly approved over $770 million in additional funding for their school districts through local referenda, despite the fact that this increases their property taxes.
As state funding of public education declined under the previous administration, property taxpayers have been forced to pay more. Locally, the statewide voucher program, which siphons money away from our neighborhood schools and gives it to private schools, has cost taxpayers in the Madison Metropolitan School District $656,753 and taxpayers in school districts statewide $110,125,445. While state funding for public schools increased in the most recent budget under Governor Evers’s administration, the voucher program continues drawing money out of public schools. We cannot afford to continue funding two school systems.
Taxpayers deserve to know the true cost of the private school voucher program. Earlier this session, Democratic legislators introduced Assembly Bill 299, which would provide taxpayers with an itemized accounting on their property tax bills of funding diverted from public to private schools. Today, as private school special interest groups gathered in the State Capitol with their continued demands of more taxpayer dollars, I urge State Assembly leadership to allow a hearing on AB 299. Wisconsinites deserve to know how their tax money is being spent.”