MADISON – This morning, State Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) and State Senator Chris Larson reintroduced the Public Education Reinvestment Act (PERA), legislation that would strengthen our state’s public schools and put Wisconsin on the path to ending the failed voucher school experiment that has undermined our state’s education system for too long. In support of this important proposal, Rep. Brostoff and Sen. Larson released the following statement:
“Public education in Wisconsin and the United States remains under attack. School privatizers and their allies in public office have done all they can to gut our state and nation’s public schools while forcing taxpayers to pay for their failed voucher experiment. Today, with this bill, we loudly and proudly declare that Wisconsin families should no longer have to foot the bill for two school systems, and that every kid in our state deserves access to high-quality public education.
“PERA would reinstate and expand the former Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program while phasing out Wisconsin’s failed voucher school experiment, ensuring that Wisconsinites’ hard-earned tax dollars earmarked for education go towards providing a high-quality public education to every student in our state who wants one. Years of research have shown that voucher programs siphon significant amounts of money away from public school districts while performing at the same level or worse than traditional public schools, contrary to the promises made by school voucher advocates. Since 2016, our public school system has lost out on over half a billion dollars due to voucher programs, including over $166 million in the current school year alone. This status quo is unsustainable, and it is unjust.
“Now is the time to end the failed voucher experiment once and for all, and to restore the promise of high-quality public education for all of Wisconsin’s kids. Now is the time for PERA.”