Republican School Funding Scheme Launders Money for Unaccountable Private Voucher Schools

Gov. Walker and Legislative GOP Put Campaign Cronies and Political Self Interest Before Our Public Schools

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MADISON, Wis. — A new Republican scheme to funnel money to the unaccountable private school voucher program appears to be taking shape, and it looks a lot like money laundering.

In recent publicly reported comments from Rep. John Nygren, the Assembly Republican co-chair of the powerful budget writing Joint Committee on Finance, he appears to endorse amending the budget to include a meager increase in per pupil funding for K-12 public schools. Nygren also indicated his interest in Assembly Republican Speaker Robin Vos’ plan to take nearly $50 million out of K-12 public schools on a per pupil basis to pay for more students to participate in a statewide private school voucher program.

The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross on the GOP school financing shenanigans:

“Legislative Republicans are literally proposing to launder money for private voucher schools through our public schools with their latest scheme.

“What else can you call a plan that gives K-12 public schools a small bump in aid that is then taken away to give to private schools through the voucher program?

“The private school voucher industry has spent lavishly to install politicians in places of power who will kowtow to their industry. And sure enough we see Gov. Walker and the Republican legislature once again putting their campaign cronies and political self interest before our public schools.

“Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans made the largest cuts to public education in state history, and now, while the voucher program sucks up more state money, our public schools are projected to fall below the national average in per pupil funding.

“Their latest scheme does nothing to begin to make up for the damage they’ve done, in fact taking our tax dollars away from our public schools and giving it to unaccountable voucher schools makes it worse.”

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.