MADISON, Wis. — The state Department of Public Instruction today released information on the number of new schools and students applying for the statewide expansion of the private school voucher program enacted by Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans in the 2013-15 state budget. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said the statistics about where the students applying for the program previously attended school expose the voucher program as a scam on state taxpayers, orchestrated by well-funded education privatization forces.
He said, “The statewide expansion of the private school voucher program is a flat out scam on state taxpayers. There’s simply no other way to look at it when 75% of the students applying for a taxpayer funded voucher are not coming from public schools, including 67% who were already in private schools.”
According to the Department of Public Instruction 2,415 applications were submitted for students to attend one of 48 schools indicating they would participate in the program using a taxpayer funded voucher. Of the top 25 schools participating, a shocking 76% of voucher applicants did not attend a Wisconsin public school last year. Nearly 67% attended a private school while over 3% were home schooled and almost 5% did not attend school in the last academic year.
The education privatization advocates mounted a furious special interest lobbying campaign for a statewide expansion of the voucher program in the budget with their well-funded army of lobbyists. An earlier report by One Wisconsin Now revealed the Milwaukee based Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Walker’s campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, has orchestrated a decade-long $31 million propaganda campaign in Wisconsin with the goal of privatizing public schools.
Ross concluded, “The only choice involved with the voucher program is Gov. Walker and the legislative Republicans choosing to rip off taxpayers and gut public schools to satisfy the right-wing education privatization advocates that poured massive amounts of money into their elections.”