Racine’s voucher program success means expansion a possibility, says Vos

2012-12-17T06:30:00Z 2013-12-17T10:54:19Z Racine’s voucher program success means expansion a possibility, says VosALISON BAUTER alison.bauter@journaltimes.com Journal Times

RACINE — Incoming Speaker of the Assembly Robin Vos described an emotional moment going door-to-door in Sturtevant during this year’s campaign season: a parent told him about her son being bullied and unhappy in public school.

“They wanted to try something different, but they could never have afforded to go to a private school without school choice,” said Vos, a Republican state representative from Rochester.

According to Vos, stories like these underpin his longtime dedication to school choice voucher programs, which allow lower-income students to attend participating private schools using state-funded vouchers to pay tuition.

Speaking to The Journal Times’ editorial board Monday, Vos laid out his legislative agenda. Alongside passing a mining bill, examining state regulations and looking at Wisconsin’s tax code, Vos listed educational reform on his main agenda.

In Racine, Vos said, the school choice program implemented in 2011 has proved successful, meeting voucher caps both years prior and allowing unlimited vouchers starting in 2013.

“If there are other parts of the state that have issues where there are parents that are concerned about the quality of their own public schools, I’d like to open the dialogue to say, ‘Should we give them an opportunity to have school choice as well?’” he said in a separate interview Monday.

Jim Bender, President of pro-voucher lobbying group School Choice Wisconsin, said those conversations are already happening, and he’s optimistic about the Legislature’s trajectory.

“Once the (school choice) program expanded to Racine, we were contacted by people from all corners of the state” including Kenosha, Fond du Lac, Green Bay and more, Bender said.

But expanding school choice is unlikely to sit well with groups like the Wisconsin Educators Association Council, where spokesperson Christina Brey said teachers and support staff in her union have long opposed voucher schools.

“It’s a matter of accountability, transparency and local control,” she said.

WEAC does not support voucher schools because they hold teachers to different standards, are “siphoning money away from public schools” and are not accountable to taxpayers because they lack a locally elected school board, according to Brey.

Along with that comes financial accountability, something local critics say was not shown by St. John Fisher Academy, a private high school that educated mostly low-income voucher students, and closed its doors in June 2012 after The Journal Times revealed alleged mismanagement and funding shortages that led teachers to go months without pay.

While Vos said he fully supports efforts to protect taxpayers and students from financially unsound institutions, he doesn’t support “creating an abundance of regulations and rules that would weigh down these schools,” according to a follow-up statement.

“I want entrepreneurs to start new schools and I want people to try different things to see what works for families,” he told the editorial board.

And while Vos praised Racine’s voucher program overall, local educators remain skeptical about the cap lifting.

“We really can’t predict the impact it will have on Racine Unified School District,” said Superintendent Ann Laing. “There are too many unknowns about whether parents will choose private schools.”

Additionally, said Laing, “We don’t know how many private school students will access the system,” because both public and private school students can utilize the vouchers if their family income comes in under the $69,907/year cap.

Laing said she believed the impact on Unified will be seen in the long-term.

Copyright 2015 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(42) Comments

  1. Lika-Pika
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    Lika-Pika - December 24, 2012 3:31 am
    @Gearhead,
    This isn't Bangladesh nor China. This is the USA, where you get what you pay for. Cheep = substandard.

    Plus, in countries such as Bangladesh and China make sure that their teachers are living above the poverty line, and they give the educational staff 150% respect. They don't disrespect the teachers like we do here.

    Start realizing what is, and get a grip yourself first, before unloading on someone else.
  2. Lika-Pika
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    Lika-Pika - December 24, 2012 3:26 am
    What I think is crazy, is that performance from the special education is part of what counts in the ranking of the schools... WKCE testing is a requirement for almost all students, except the Juniors who take the PSATs and the Seniors who take the SAT's, or something along that line. Private schools aren't mandated to participate in WKCE.

    So, say your special needs 3rd grader is performing at a kindergarten level, because of speech delays and other learning disabilities, they are not tested at the kindergarten level. They are tested against other 3rd graders, thus pulling down the test scores of the 3rd graders of that school. So, a school with NO special education will look like they scored higher than the school that has 50% of those who have a special need of some sort. So, unless your child is so developmentally disabled to the point that they are exempt from testing, they are counted with the grade they are in. Not the grade they are performing in.

    I also don't think that giving private schools the public money that goes to educate all of the children is going to help the situation any, because RUSD already is short the special ed teachers and resources they need to cater to the need that is in question. Now that means less training and less resource for all of the students, to give to a private school that can discriminate against disabled students if they so choose.
  3. tell-the-truth-please
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    tell-the-truth-please - December 18, 2012 10:35 pm
    How comforting it is to now that the good god fearing catholics like voice of reason care so much about the poor,disenfranchised and less fotunate within our community. Why not just admit the truth here in the forum and say that catholic schools choosing not to participate in the voucher program do so out of concern that they may upset the paying parents. It doesnt matter much anyway because the immoral pedophile priests have lead the churchn into a death spiral bankrutcy.
  4. Left Wing Republican
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    Left Wing Republican - December 18, 2012 8:13 pm
    Vos is certainly a political animal primarily interested in self-preservation. I loved the outpouring of commentary after Obama's recent reelection stating the obvious that the Republican Party needs to drop some of its more controversial and backward stances on issues. Within the party, with people like Vos in positions of responsibility, no such positive change is likely. Can you picture Vos speaking to a meeting of Voces de la Frontera with any degree of honest concern for issues that group is trying to address? Neither can I.
  5. the voice of reason
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    the voice of reason - December 18, 2012 8:29 am
    Anyone who's been on a board of one of our parochial schools can confirm:
    Tuition paid to send a child to a parochial school is typically only a fraction of the actual cost per student. (The gap is made up by church offerings and private charitable donors.)
    We see these parochial schools struggle to stay afloat, and ultimately close their doors or "consolidate" over and over.
    Enter the "voucher program". Parents tired of RUSD shout "hooray! A better option for our children!". The typical citizen reading the articles in the paper shout "hooray! Better options for those who want it (and meet the income requirements), and it will build up our dying parochial schools too, by increasing enrollment therein. Win-win!
    But the truth is...
    Parochial schools already struggle because tuition covers only a portion of the true cost of educating a student. They can't charge the full cost because most families who find a way afford it now, couldn't if they had to pay the full cost.
    Now bring in a voucher system which (if a school chooses to participate) pays a voucher $ amount to the school which is even less than the tuition rate. The program isn't as great as it sounds. More butts in the seats of these private schools but at a lower contribution level... More kids with needs beyond what the school was previously equipped to handle... It all adds up to a higher average cost ($ spent/paid out by the school) to educate each student; but a lower average tuition per student ($ received by the school). In other words: an even larger financial burden on schools which are already operating on a paper-thin / deficit budget.
    I'm a total conservative, and even I can't get behind Vos's idea of expanding the voucher program.
  6. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - December 18, 2012 7:08 am
    Louisiana moves FORWARD into the 21st. C.

    BATON ROUGE (CNS)—More than two dozen entities have filed applications with the Louisiana Department of Education for approval to offer online courses as an alternative to failing schools.

    Course providers were cut in for a slice of education funds pie by in HB 976 (Act 2) which provides for the teaching of virtual classes online.

    The only obstacle in the way of educating children in Wisconsin is WEAC and RUSD.

    http://www.tri-parishtimes.com/opinion/article_5e08e860-f2ed-11e1-a53c-0019bb2963f4.html
  7. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - December 18, 2012 7:04 am
    The solution is to get rid of the proven failure RUSD - a relic of the 20th.C and move forward with eliminating brick and mortar public schools, administrators, teachers and move to 21st.C technology and methods.

    RUSD is a Dinosaur - It's too large to adapt and change - and it doesn't belong in the 21st.C. ABOLISH RUSD!

    The Future of education lies of the Internet:

    If education moves to a teaching model in which students learn through online tutorials, exercises and evaluations created by a handful of the best educators in the world, then how many teachers will we need preparing lesson plans and delivering lectures and grading quizzes and tests? Surely we’ll need some for one-on-one tutoring, or to run small group discussions, or teach things that can’t or shouldn’t be taught online. Despite assurances to the contrary, however, there’s likely to be fewer than we have now — fewer but better-paid with more interesting jobs — just as has happened in nearly every other industry that has gone through a similar transformation.

    The disruption doesn’t stop there. If students are allowed to progress through each subject at their own pace, they won’t be second-graders or sixth-graders any longer, since at any time they are likely to be at different grades in different subjects. Indeed, the whole notion of a 45-minute “class,” or the six-hour “school day,” or even the August through June school “calendar” — the entire framework of the educational experience — will become somewhat irrelevant.


    The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.

    http://www.khanacademy.org/about
  8. tell-the-truth-please
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    tell-the-truth-please - December 18, 2012 6:55 am
    Yes please do me a favor and look up the RUSD facts with regard to truancy, student achievement,behavior referal and suspension, graduation rates, parent satisfacyion and a dozen other metrics that determine quality indicators. Then come back and tell me if taxpayes are getting their moneys worth at $10.500 dollars plus per student. Then tell me if these children are being prepared properly for this global economy. Please then tell me the last time a bad teacher was fire from RUSD. Then come back and tell me that you need more money and new programs in addition to the $300 million dollars per year you already receive from property tax payers and that ineffective teachers shoulder NONE of the responsibility for this mess.

    To suggest that I would say say anything negative about the teachers that recently lost their lives at Sandy Hook is deplorable on your part. As your red tee shirt blue fist pumping liberals shout out shame shame shame .......on you.

    Thank you for also correcting my terrible spelling and grammar. I can always count on one of the overeducated, public pension coffee house liberals in the forum to do this for me.

    Yes school districts are run by schol boards that are elected by the people...... with the generous help of the teachers unions that provide hundredes of millions of dollars in funding and influence with soft, hard and behind the scenes money and organizations that rival any sort of Koch brothers operation. Please check your facts.
  9. Old School
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    Old School - December 17, 2012 10:37 pm
    tell-the-truth demonstrates a certain lack of grammar acuity with the mis-use of hyphenation. First of all the tax payers elect school board members who run the district. They set policy and taxation and negotiate contracts with educators. To use the word 'pigs' describing the people in Connecticut who gave their lives defending first grade children illustrates the small brain of the writer. When it mentions Title One and programs that are federal in scope the commentary loses credibility because they are mandated programs that the district doesn't control. Mr. 'tell-the-truth' assumes I am an educator which is incorrect. The diatribe it puts forth doesn't deal with facts, simply emotional anger at 'the system'. Grow up. School districts are run by school boards that are elected by the people. If you don't like the policies, elect new board members. To simply spew psychobabble without a basis in fact is the problem with uneducated posters. They aren't interested in solutions, only blame and more blah, blah, blah. Nothing but a boring contribution if it can be even called that.
  10. An American
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    An American - December 17, 2012 10:31 pm
    A very good read. Robin Vos is a close to a racist as they come. He grew up privilidged, and he believes everyone has too. Vos is one of the worst things that has ever happened to Wisconsin Democracy and our education system. He get his marching orders from ALEC, and could not care less about Wisconsin or his constituents. It is all a big joke to him.
  11. Old School
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    Old School - December 17, 2012 10:22 pm
    I wish to add an addendum to my previously just posted comment. Mr. Vos proposes the expansion of charter schools as a solution to the state's problems. The JT article states that Mr. Vos is to become one of the leaders in the Assembly under Governor Walker. I find it amusing that Mr. Vos is prescribing dubious directions for education that if legislated would be signed into law by the first Governor of Wisconsin that doesn't have a formal advanced education. In the last 64 years this is the first Governor of Wisconsin who doesn't have a college degree. That in itself must be a notable honor certainly recognized by the rest of the country. In fact he is the only current Governor in the United States without a college degree. Nice comment on the 'state' of affairs in Wisconsin regarding educational leadership.
  12. tell-the-truth-please
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    tell-the-truth-please - December 17, 2012 10:11 pm
    It never ceases to amaze me how the current and former teachers unionistas go berserk whenever an honest article comes out even slightly critical of their RUSD workers paradise.
    Old School says " Its easy to blame the school district for what has happened to the community over the past 40 years" He says "we must only blame ourselves for allowing the once superior infrastructure to deteriorate into the mess it is today" What planet are you on ?? RUSD allowed their supposed "superior infrastructure" to deteriorate just fine on their own by squandering hundreds of millions, if not billions of taxpayer dollars over the years on poloicies and programs that simply did not work !!! Instead of encouraging creativity, investment, innovation and STRICT ACCOUNTABILITY of teachers(especially the poor ones) the public pension pigs chose to consume eighty five cents of every precious hard earned tax payer dollar given to them and spend it on the most lavish salary, pension and benefit scheme in the history of this community. Sorry Old School but the chickens have finanly come home to roost. Elderly tax payers can no longer be forced to subsidize your 300 Million Dollar per year dismal excuse making failure.

    Wake up Now states "private schools only keep the intelligent kids and return the others"
    How horrofic it would be in my opinion if this person was in fact an educator. Shame on you if so because all children should be made to feel as if they are strong, capable and intelligent unlike the "special education factories" RUSD keeps open. By the way has anyone ever bothered to ask how much extra Government/ Title One/ Grant funding RUSD receives every time they label some poor child as a "special education" student. Not to mention the army of extra union member/ specialists that can be hired to further the cause of the RUSD workers paradise. Sorry RUSD UNION GOONS THE GAME IS UP !!!!!!!!
  13. Gearhead
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    Gearhead - December 17, 2012 9:42 pm
    Peace, lack of accountability is exactly why RUSD continues to fail. Yet we are told if we just approve the next referendum, results are just around the corner. Don't you see Lucy pulling the football away like the rest of us do?
  14. Gearhead
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    Gearhead - December 17, 2012 9:38 pm
    Peace, students in Bangledesh and China live in true poverty, learn on dirt floors, yet still manage to kick our butts. Stop making excuses and get a grip!
  15. Gearhead
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    Gearhead - December 17, 2012 9:33 pm
    You're the one full of bunk. The deep pockets still belong to the thug union. What don't you get about choice, especially the part about students fleeing bad schools and teachers? It saves the taxpayers money, too.
  16. Old School
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    Old School - December 17, 2012 9:10 pm
    If one took a poll of all the respondents to the article, most would have received their education in public institutions and they would have been good educations. The oddity is that RUSD in the early 70's was a 'go to' district showcasing the best of educational practices. RUSD attracted many educators from across the U.S. and many foreign countries trying to learn 'best of' practices that were producing 'best of' results. The best student teachers were on waiting lists to come to RUSD. So what happened? At the time minority parents were employed in the many manufacturing venues of the city. They came to conferences and earned good incomes to support their children. Everyone benefited. The community was proud of their city and their public institutions. Since then Racine has experienced the highest unemployment rate in the state. Per capita income in Racine is one of the lowest in the state. What can one expect of the resultant effect on the community? Not only the school district but also the business community has suffered. Look at downtown Racine now compared to the 1970's. It's virtually a ghost town. It's easy to blame the school district for what has happened over the last forty years, but the district simply mirrors the community. Loss of jobs, lower incomes ultimately effects the institutions that support the community. It's time to stop blaming the school system and start looking within. After all, the schools are only micro-cosims of the health of the community that is supposed to support them. Start looking to find solutions. Placing blame is easy yet ultimately no one in the community has anyone to blame but themselves for letting the infrastructure that used to be superior deteriorate into the mess it is today. When all is said and done it is really the community that needs to pull together to support their own institutions and stop blaming nebulous variables that have nothing to do with reality. If charter schools were the answer then lets move all students in RUSD to charter schools. Do we really believe the results would be different. Statistics don't think so.
  17. WakeUpNow
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    WakeUpNow - December 17, 2012 9:07 pm
    A success? So a Voucher school takes public money. Discovers the kid is ADHD or ADD, has Autism or some other learning disability... returns the kid back to RUSD after a few weeks but retains 100% of the voucher. How is that a success? How many voucher kids got returned to RUSD schools because the private schools did not have the proper staff to support them? They claim success only because the ones they fail are returned back to RUSD. The private schools only keep the intelligent kids, return he others and and they keep the publics money.
  18. Left Wing Republican
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    Left Wing Republican - December 17, 2012 9:07 pm
    I sincerely hope I am wrong, but my impression is that Robin Vos cares very little about the breadth and quality of educational options available to poor, inner city children, be they white, black, or Hispanic. I suspect he sees these children as commodities, that their education is a commodity, and he would like to see this commodity auctioned to the low cost provider. The voucher program strikes me as a cleverly packaged, politically-correct way to reduce the cost of providing for a commodity. His rhetoric about educational quality and choice is, I think, all smokescreen.
  19. Old School
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    Old School - December 17, 2012 9:01 pm
    If one took a poll of all the respondents to the article, most would have received their education in public institutions and they would have been good educations. The oddity is that RUSD in the early 70's was a 'go to' district showcasing the best of educational practices. RUSD attracted many educators from across the U.S. and many foreign countries trying to learn 'best of' practices that were producing 'best of' results. The best student teachers were on waiting lists to come to RUSD. So what happened? At the time minority parents were employed in the many manufacturing venues of the city. They came to conferences and earned good incomes to support their children. Everyone benefited. The community was proud of their city and their public institutions. Since then Racine has experienced the highest unemployment rate in the state. Per capita income in Racine is one of the lowest in the state. What can one expect of the resultant effect on the community? Not only the school district but also the business community has suffered. Look at downtown Racine now compared to the 1970's. It's virtually a ghost town. It's easy to blame the school district for what has happened over the last forty years, but the district simply mirrors the community. Loss of jobs, lower incomes ultimately effects the institutions that support the community. It's time to stop blaming the school system and start looking within. After all, the schools are only micro-cosims of the health of the community that is supposed to support them. Start looking to find solutions. Placing blame is easy yet ultimately no one in the community has anyone to blame but themselves for letting the infrastructure that used to be superior deteriorate into the mess it is today. When all is said and done it is really the community that needs to pull together to support their own institutions and stop blaming nebulous variables that have nothing to do with reality. If charter schools were the answer then lets move all students in RUSD to charter schools. Do we really believe the results would be different. Statistics don't think so.
  20. farmnfun
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    farmnfun - December 17, 2012 7:36 pm
    Having raised all my children using parochial schools and RUSD both, I would prefer the parochial/private learning system if I was given a choice again. I am so happy that any child eligible may have the option of using the voucher program if they choose and become eligible.
    With over 200+ children going to Yorkville, Union Grove,etc schools west of the interstate, says something isnt working here....
  21. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - December 17, 2012 6:08 pm
    For those who continue to be confused, please see:

    RACINE CHARTER ONE, INC. D/B/A 21st Century Preparatory School, Christine Hauck, and Sherry James, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. RACINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant-Appellee.

    WHO IS THE DEFENDANT? Why, it's RUSD. NOW THINK!

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1465657.html
  22. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - December 17, 2012 5:59 pm
    RUSD is a failed government controlled corporate monopoly. It seems that there are certain persons who don't know that entities such as "The City of Racine", "Racine Unified School District" and other such government entities are CORPORATIONS!

    Please, JJG, and others - don't follow my posts around, especially in inappropriate threads - and claim otherwise. TALK TO A LAWYER - and end your ignorance.

    Who gets sued? RACINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT - A Corporation - it has standing at law as a PERSON = CORPORATION. Go to CCAP - enter, in the space for BUSINESS - RACINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, CITY OF RACINE, COUNTY OF RACINE, etc. etc. THEY ARE CORPORATIONS.

    Educate yourself more - read the bond offering from the corporate entity known as RACINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT - known as THE DISTRICT.

    The District encompasses approximately 100 square miles of Racine County, and includes the City of Racine, Villages of Caledonia, Elmwood Park, Mount Pleasant, North Bay, Sturtevant and Wind Point. It is located 25 miles south of Milwaukee and 60 miles north of Chicago and is bounded on the east by Lake Michigan. The District is easily accessible via Interstate Highway 94 and State highways 11, 20, 31, 32, 36 and 38. Based on 2010 census, the District's population is 139,193*.

    "The mission of the Racine Unified School District, in partnership with a community rich in cultural diversity, is to prepare every student to perform successfully in a global society through outstanding instruction and curriculum."

    The District offers a comprehensive educational program for students in the kindergarten through the twelfth grades, operates six high schools, seven middle schools and 21 elementary schools. The enrollment for the 2012-13 school year is 21,691."


    http://www.i-dealprospectus.com/PDF/1_57762.pdf

    It's not always what you don't know - it's what you know that isn't so!
  23. Zorro
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    Zorro - December 17, 2012 5:23 pm
    Doesn't sound like success to me, and Vos was unconvincing.
  24. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - December 17, 2012 4:01 pm
    Are you saying those kids would do better because........ at a Charter school???? Because I have news for you, other then paying the staff lower wages, you'll see similar results.
  25. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - December 17, 2012 4:00 pm
    So then you would admit that if this ...."Horrible graduation rates, horible student achievement, horrible truancy rates, loud, hostile unruly misbehaven children that take advantage of the chaos..." at a Charter or Voucher school we would have the same results? Or by some miracle things would just be better?
  26. Craven
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    Craven - December 17, 2012 3:55 pm
    Good!! Closing down this rotted stystem and rebiulding one that honors and respects basic education and decentcy is exactly what we need. Say good by to RUSD and the evil teachers union... the sooner the better!
  27. tell-the-truth-please
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    tell-the-truth-please - December 17, 2012 2:51 pm
    RUSD = The Bigotry of Low Expectations.
    Horrible graduation rates, horible student achievement, horrible truancy rates, loud, hostile unruly misbehaven children that take advantage of the chaos and become worse because of their educational environment, and virtualy no attention what so ever given to parents. Please stop protecting the red t-shirt blue fist pumping public pension piglets that have destroyed our once great Racine Unified School System. Keep the pressure on them with stiff competition from higher quality voucher schools and force all failing sespool factory schools to be shut down ( including the voucher ones) In time many future generations will thank you for it. By the way when was the last time an RUSD school closed becaused of poor performance , or mismanagement ????? answer...... never.
  28. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - December 17, 2012 2:49 pm
    Fact is, that if you moved RUSD kids into voucher programs and school choice programs under your criteria they would ALL close. Fact is public education is crucial to the success of the united states. This is why poor people can send their kids to public schools. Why should I have to pay for wealthy kids when I already pay for one of the best education systems in the US? The Wisconsin Public education system. We are tops in graduation rates, ACT/SAT scores, etc.... If that is not good enough for wealthy kids let their parents pay their own way so they can go to private schools.
  29. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - December 17, 2012 2:45 pm
    Fact is if you took the same kids and put them all in voucher schools you would have the same results. By the way, it's Ann Lang not Anna Laing, and no she did not "cry out" that she didn't know what to do. Please spend some time and educate yourself.
  30. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - December 17, 2012 1:47 pm
    RUSD is defined as a proven failure - with one of the largest $ per child spent - an enormous and bloated budget, and one of the lowest rates of achievement in Wisconsin. Failure is the strongpoint of RUSD.

    Even Anna Laing cried out she doesn't know how to make RUSD successful. Hiring a new Super at $200,000+, is David Hazen's plan- which won't do anything to alter the pattern of failure at RUSD - it will only create another grossly overpaid bureaucrat in SE Wisconsin.
  31. Kathy'stime
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    Kathy'stime - December 17, 2012 1:39 pm
    I agree with the Voucher Program and School Choice programs. Let the good and strong schools survive and the garbage schools that are doing a P-poor job educating the youth close. At least the parents and families that want their children to get a good and decent education can make their choice of where to send their kids. The income cap for the Voucher program should be lifted. Why should these parents (more that likely taxpayers) have to pay twice for educating their children when many are paying nothing?
  32. racinelifer
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    racinelifer - December 17, 2012 1:35 pm
    Successes like St. John Fisher????

    From a JT article, "The teachers were not paid from mid-December to February and from March to the end of May despite their continued work and employment terms specifying biweekly paychecks."
  33. Craven
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    Craven - December 17, 2012 1:01 pm
    Thank God we have representatives like Robin Vos who realize that school choice is a opportunity for deserving students to get out of the sewage they are forced to endure at the hands of the failed RUSD system and the ever-demanding self-motivated and over-paid teachers union members.

    If kids are lucky enough to stay in the system long enough to graduate they get into the real world only to realize they were given a substandard education and end up with no real hope for the future... "Want to super-size that order sir"

    It is time to change the status quo dropout rate and horribly low education expectations of Racine schools… and we can begin with the help of Vos and Walker, get our kids as far away from the current RUSD configuration as possible.
  34. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - December 17, 2012 12:05 pm
    Do you understand that RUSD can give kids good educations if their is parental involvement? Sorry, but funding Voucher programs has led to higher taxes in Racine county. This is a fact.
  35. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - December 17, 2012 12:01 pm
    I noticed that Vos failed to mention what that Voucher school success was.
  36. I Come In Peace
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    I Come In Peace - December 17, 2012 12:00 pm
    @ggodmuls - your comment is the short sighted type of thinking that helps nothing. Fact is we can take every kid and put them in voucher schools. You will see the same results. It's people like you, Vos, and Walker that don't understand the main causes of educational struggles in this country, which is poverty. Voucher schools lead to poor teacher pay, less school funding and a lack of accountability.
  37. beluga
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    beluga - December 17, 2012 11:51 am
    What a load if bunk, Vos. How much is that well funded school choice lobby donating to your political campaign, Vos? I suggest you start representing the taxpayers and stop representing your own paycheck.
  38. Seatweaver
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    Seatweaver - December 17, 2012 11:34 am
    "...his longtime dedication to school choice voucher programs, which allow 'lower-income students' to attend participating private schools using state-funded vouchers to pay tuition."
    "...students can utilize the vouchers if their family income comes in under the $69,907/year cap." A family making $69,907 a year is not "lower-income" in Racine County. Perhaps, they would be in Vos's World of NeverNeverLand.

    The "Voucher Program" pays parents to send their child to a "private" school in or out of their district of residence, while the "School Choice Program" permits parents to send their child to a "public" school outside their district of residence. The two terms are not synonymous. Vos advocates defunding of public schools, redistributing those funds to private schools, both religious and secular, which smacks of being unconstitutional with regard to "separation of Church and State."

    Rep Vos is out of touch with the realities of Racine County and the State of Wisconsin. He has turned into the Koch Brother's Charley McCarthy.
  39. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - December 17, 2012 11:13 am
    Remember - the only achievement of RUSD = PROVEN FAILURE.

  40. ggodmuls
    Report Abuse
    ggodmuls - December 17, 2012 11:12 am
    Time to enter the 21st. C and end financing and maintaining brick and mortar schools. Time to end government control of education by failed corporate monopolies like RUSD- which abuses it's authority and creates poverty and income inequality.

    University of the People (UoPeople) is the world's first non-profit, tuition- free online university dedicated to opening the gates to higher education for all individuals otherwise constrained.

    http://www.uopeople.org/

    A free world-class education for anyone anywhere.

    The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.

    All of the site's resources are available to anyone. It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge


    http://www.khanacademy.org/

    About Coursera

    We are a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. We envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. Our technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students.

    Through this, we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.


    https://www.coursera.org/about

    EMPOWER PEOPLE - not government tax and spend oppression.
  41. Kathy'stime
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    Kathy'stime - December 17, 2012 9:23 am
    viking_hans, I agree 110%. Give to those that don't want to work. Those that struggle to make ends meet, work hard to provide for their families and have a decent home can't afford to send their children to these schools and make over the allowable amount to qualify. These same hard working people are the ones that are paying taxes, not the freeloaders who live in subsidized housing that is being paid for as well. I support school choice, but let it be a "choice" for all not just the rich and not just the poor.
  42. viking_hans
    Report Abuse
    viking_hans - December 17, 2012 7:57 am
    What? Kids who's parents make over the 69,907. limit, don't have the SAME need for a good education? Another shining example of those that pay the least into the system getting served the most. I see where Racine is headed.
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