Private School Vouchers in the Madison Metropolitan School District

In the governor’s proposed budget, a policy change expanding Private School Vouchers to Madison takes money from state aid for public schools and gives it to private schools to pay for tuition. Public schools will receive no additional money. The MMSD Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution opposing voucher expansion (https://boeweb.madison.k12.wi.us/node/3012). We need your help in advocating for better school funding and removal of the vouchers from the budget.

Private school vouchers will cost MMSD money and will siphon money away from supporting local neighborhood schools

  • The combination of loss of state aid from the implementation of the Private School Vouchers in Madison and NO increase in funding from the state in the new budget means there would be decreased funds to support programs and activities at our local neighborhood schools.
  • Our MMSD could lose an additional $2M in state aid next year if Private School Vouchers come to Madison. Based on current projections, Madison’s schools could lose $4.5M in state aid in the second year of the program, more than $7M in the third years and close to $9M in the fourth year.
  • Taxpayer funding for private school vouchers will come directly from funds otherwise allocated for support of our public schools, thereby reducing local funding for programs, supports and staff in our neighborhood schools. The Private School Voucher program is a shift of money away from the public schools.

Private School Vouchers will increase local property taxes

  • The direction of funds away from public schools to pay for Private School Vouchers will result in an increase in local property taxes. School Boards will be forced to raise taxes to make up for the state aid that is being redistributed from public schools into the Private School Voucher program.

Vouchers have not proven to increase student achievement

  • Studies and the results of the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam (WKCE) have shown that students in Milwaukee’s voucher schools do not perform better in reading or math than their counterparts in the Milwaukee Public Schools and in many cases do worse.

Voucher schools use taxpayer dollars without being held accountable

  • Money is shifted away from public schools to fund the Private School Voucher program, yet taxpayers do not have a say in how voucher schools are run. Private schools have almost complete autonomy with regard to how they operate: who they teach, what they teach, how they teach. Private voucher schools are not required to meet basic accountability standards such as open meetings and records law or to release test scores and other basic information.

Private School Vouchers – What Can You Do?

Talk to your legislators. They must hear from you to inform their decision-making!

Although our Madison Legislators are opposed to Private School Vouchers, it is still important to let them know your thoughts on this topic.
Contacts and email addresses are below:

Contact the Governor

You want your opinion "counted" as on the record about the private school voucher issue. Send him an email and them him know your thoughts. Scott Walker Govgeneral@wisconsin.gov

Encourage friends and family in other voucher districts to contact their legislators.

There are 8 other districts in that would receive private school vouchers, based on the Governor’s budget recommendation. It is important that legislators from outside of Madison hear from their constituents about the negative impact of the vouchers in their community. Encourage family and friends in these districts to contact their legislators. Talk to family and friends around the state. Vouchers in 9 districts take money from all Wisconsin school districts. The other districts are: Beloit, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Kenosha, Sheboygan, Superior, Waukesha, West Allis/West Milwaukee

Contact the Joint Finance Committee

Alberta Darling: sen.darling@legis.wisconsin.gov
Luther Olsen: sen.olsen@legis.wisconsin.gov
Sheila Harsdorf: sen.harsdorf@legis.wisconsin.gov
Joe Leibham: sen.leibham@legis.wisconsin.gov
Mary Lazich: sen.lazich@legis.wisconsin.gov
Glenn Grothman: sen.grothman@legis.wisconsin.gov
Jennifer Shilling: sen.shilling@legis.wisconsin.gov
Robert Wirch: sen.wirch@legis.wisconsin.gov
John Nygren: rep.nygren@legis.wisconsin.gov
Pat Strachota: rep.strachota@legis.wisconsin.gov
Dale Kooyenga: rep.kooyenga@legis.wisconsin.gov
Dean Knusdon: rep.knudson@legis.wisconsin.gov
Dan LeMahieu: rep.lemahieu@legis.wisconsin.gov
John Klenke: rep.klenke@legis.wisconsin.gov
Cory Mason: rep.mason@legis.wisconsin.gov
John Richards: rep.richards@legis.wisconsin.gov

Spread the word. Tell your neighbors with and without children in school how important our public schools are to our community. Use social media, email, phone calls to talk about the facts.

For more information on 2013-14 MMSD’s budget, please go to: https://www.madison.k12.wi.us/budget
information on how vouchers impact MMSD, please go to: https://www.madison.k12.wi.us/vouchers

If you have any questions, please contact the MMSD school board at board@madison.k12.wi.us