Sunday, March 10, 2013

We All Must Oppose The Expansion Of School Vouchers

The Monona Grove Board of Education, building principals and district office administrators, and teachers (Monona Grove Education Association) join together to urge legislators to oppose any expansion of the voucher program for schools.

Perhaps the most important reason to oppose voucher expansion is that research of the 22-year voucher experiment in Milwaukee shows student performance is no better overall than that of their peers in public schools. In fact, recent data from Milwaukee shows lower performance in both reading and math for students in voucher schools. Gov. Walker has set forth the goal of “transforming education” in Wisconsin. Any objective examination of the voucher program must conclude that it is clearly not transformative.

Voucher schools have not been held to the same standards as public schools, which may explain in part why they are not performing as well. While the governor has stated his intention of applying the state’s accountability system to voucher schools, this process is described as one to be phased in over five or more years. Public schools are to be held accountable now for their report cards, tying some funding to performance, while resources are expended to allow voucher schools to catch up.

Public schools accept all students, regardless of level of need, and provide them with the service of appropriately trained personnel and other resources, as well as due process protection. Public school boards are locally elected and adhere to open meeting and public records laws. These requirements do not apply to voucher schools, even though they receive public dollars.

The use of public tax dollars to fund religious and other private schools drains resources from public schools, increasing their financial hardship as they work to meet the needs of the majority of students. Voucher students do not leave their resident schools in numbers that necessarily support equivalent reduction in staff. Thus the costs incurred by the public schools do not go down proportionately with their lost revenue. Rather, meeting the needs of remaining students becomes a greater challenge with fewer financial resources.

Public schools throughout the state are working to implement new initiatives to better address the increasingly wide range of student needs, as well as the increased accountability measures such as the educator effectiveness system and new assessments, with diminished resources. The diversion of dollars to the unsuccessful voucher program is counter-productive.

Siphoning of funds from public schools to pay for private schools will mean higher property taxes in the end, as school districts struggle for revenue. Locally elected school boards will be forced to raise property taxes since a portion of their state aid will be sent to a voucher school without accountability or oversight by an elected school board or local taxpayers.

The state of Wisconsin has a moral and legal obligation to provide public schools. An expansion of the voucher system undermines that obligation and the commitment to our children as well as to the future of our economy. Our public schools have always been a strong part of Wisconsin’s tradition. The goal of “transforming education” requires significant investment and collaboration with educators. The expansion of the school voucher program defeats this goal.

Monona Grove Board of Education
Monona Grove Principals and District Office Administrators
Monona Grove Education Association



  1. Hey, please look into and illuminate the funding. We pay an extra tax for voucher schools here in Milwaukee to the tune of 175$ a year beyond trying to help public schools. Dig deeper and get that out there

  2. Monona Grove and most of Wisconsin's public schools have underserved non-majority and children from poor families for generation after generation -- they do not deserve mindless support.

    If they wanted to change this, they had the data to document the problems for decades -- they chose to do nothing because the children from local affluent and well-connected families were consistently promoted to the top of their classes and, if they chose, gained access to exclusive post-secondary schools.

    But most of the rest that continued their education flunked out within 1 year (most the first semester) because they were so poorly prepared to succeed in a college algebra or writing class.

    Public schools hijack us regularly for investments in technology that is never really used -- you pay a portion of your phone and internet bill to fund technology in schools, but "old school" union teachers refuse to learn or use it.

    WEAC protected those that were the most obstructionist in terms of meeting the needs of today's youth -- digital natives. The local unions were entirely controlled by this group of technology-illiterate fools that believe children should learn and adults in schools don't have to.

    In fact, teacher's unions, if you have a chance to talk behind closed doors with leadership, were never unions at all -- they were "professional associations" that existed to control education and curriculum delivery -- Mary Bell is a bold-faced liar.

    When she whines about beginning teacher salaries, she know that it is not the local school ADMINISTRATORS that kept them low, IT WAS THE UNIONS that negotiated all pay as a single sum of money and refused to share increases with newer teachers.

    It would be nice if public schools actually worked -- but they do not. It would be nice if people could document REAL reasons to protect them instead of fear-mongering and distortions of facts, but that does not appear possible.

    Charter school may not be the best way to go, but public schools created the charter school movement and their "professional associations (very different than a union" are at the heart of the problems in public schools.

    These problems have existed for generations -- the ACT/SAT is a culturally biased and racist test that event he publishers acknowledge DOES NOT measure learning, and yet this unfair test that measures only socioeconomic status and the resulting likelihood that it results in success at college is fraudulently used to say, "gee, Wisconsin's public schools are good".

    1. Im just curious, can you give me data that shows that Monona Grove School District has " underserved non-majority and children from poor families for generation after generation -"

      then I would like to see data showing me how private unaccountable schools fix the problem...

    2. Anonymous, out of curiosity, was that directly quoted from one of Scott Jensen's propaganda pieces?

  3. Yes, because freedom to choose is a bad thing. We need these kids in a controlled environment so we can infect their minds with leftist ideals.

  4. In an educational environment, it's not too difficult to identify whose parents these comments belong to. Talk out of turn, off topic, deride their class mates, and blame their teachers for poor grades.

  5. People have a choice...its called open enrollment...and you are free to send your kids to a private school anytime...just dont use public funds to do so!

  6. Public dollars need public scrutiny. Voucher schools don't get that scrutiny. I read somewhere recently that two decades ago in Wisconsin, the voucher school idea was floated in order to keep Catholic schools in the black. Proponents decided to use the argument that voucher schools would help poor black kids not because that was their belief or intent, just that it was easier to sell the idea to the public that way. Voucher schools DON'T help poor minority kids and we now have 20 years worth of proof about that.

  7. Wow! That "Anonymous" lady is one scary woman So much anger, so much hatred for teachers. Sounds like a typical Walker Rethuglican, her angry words proving once again how difficult it is to educate a closed mind. Yes, Mary Bell single-handedly held down teacher pay in Wisconsin.

    Maybe next time before you post you should wait until after you inhale a few times?