Madison – Governor Evers continues to protect systems over parents. On Friday afternoon, the governor vetoed three bills that are part of the Empowering Parents Agenda and another that will improve reading scores. The bills increase transparency and accountability while giving parents real options for their children’s education and improving test scores. Senator Darling says she is disappointed the governor is trying to hide information from parents.
“The governor thinks he knows better than the parents of Wisconsin and he’s absolutely wrong about that,” Darling said, “These bills terrify bureaucrats like the governor because they give parents options and information.”
The Governor vetoed four needed reforms
Assembly Bill 965: School Accountability Reports – Establishes uniform standards for school accountability reports. Our state’s educational accountability system relies heavily on the state school and district report cards. This bill improves the accountability reports to provide a clear assessment of student success.
Assembly Bill 967 & Assembly Bill 968 High-Performing Charter Replication and Creation of Statewide Charter Board – Charter schools are public schools that operate with less red tape. This bill will streamline replication for the highest performing charter schools in our state and will increase opportunities for more students and families statewide.
The governor also vetoed an important change that will improve the way the state teaches reading.
Assembly Bill 446 Reading Assessments – This bill will screen schoolchildren on their reading abilities earlier and more often, notify parents of concerns, and create a clear direction to get kids back on track to succeed. The bill is based on successful models in other states, including Mississippi, which dramatically increased reading levels after passing similar legislation. Spotting reading problems sooner dramatically increases the chance that a child will succeed in school and life. A previous version of this bill was vetoed by Governor Evers. This version is funded with federal dollars.
Sixty-four percent of fourth-graders are not proficient in reading. Our state ranks dead-last in reading achievement among black students. Hispanic students dropped from 1st in the nation to 28th while white students fell from 6th to 27th. Despite historic funding for public education, less than one-third of students are proficient in English or math.
“Those results should outrage our ‘education governor.’ Sadly, they don’t,” Darling said, “These vetoes make it crystal clear whom the governor listens to, and it isn’t parents.”
Senator Darling represents portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha Counties.