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Mike Browne, Deputy Director
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One Wisconsin Now

Sen. Rick Gudex Wants to Require More Qualifications for Some Professional Licenses, But Not the Private School Voucher Program He Has Pledged to Expand

One Wisconsin Now Asks: Why Isn't Gudex Demanding Accountability From Private School Voucher Program?

MADISON, Wis. — New legislation being proposed by State Senator Rick Gudex would require an individual to have two years of experience as a real estate salesperson before they could become a real estate broker. Meanwhile, the unaccountable private school voucher program that Gudex is demanding be expanded statewide, does not require individuals teaching children to have any experience or a degree in the subject they are teaching.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said, “Real estate brokers and salespersons are required by law to meet education requirements specific to their profession before receiving a license. But state law does not require teachers in taxpayer financed private voucher schools to have any teaching experience or even a degree in the subject they are teaching. Unbelievably Senator Gudex apparently thinks real estate brokerage laws are the ones that need strengthening.”

The massive support Gudex received from pro-education privatization special interests was recently featured in news reports. In his 2012 race, the pro-privatization American Federation for Children boasted in a post election report that they had spent in excess of $325,000. His campaign reported receiving $6,500 in direct contributions from voucher backers, many from out of state. In exchange, Sen. Gudex has publicly declared that he will not vote for the state budget unless it expands the taxpayer financed private school voucher program.

An analysis of Gudex’s proposal by the Legislative Reference Bureau reports that his bill “…establishes the requirement that an applicant for a broker’s license must submit evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant has practiced as a salesperson under the direct supervision of a licensed broker for at least two years within the last four years preceding the date of the applicant’s application for the broker’s license.”

Meanwhile, Wisconsin law does not require teachers in voucher schools be licensed, certified or pass a background check. Only recently have voucher school teachers been required to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, although the degree does not have to be in the subject are in which they teach.

“No one is saying consumers ought not be protected when making a real estate transaction. The question is, why isn’t Sen. Gudex making sure children, their parents and taxpayers have the same assurances from the private school voucher program that he has pledged to the special interests to expand?” concluded Ross.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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