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Changes to voucher school system

Amid all the nightmarish things I read each day, I found one very close to home in this morning’s paper. Our state Senate has approved changes to the private school voucher system including the lowering of academic requirements. These requirements speak to the improvement shown by voucher school students by a percentage of them advancing to the next grade or showing significant academic progress or displaying positive attendance rates.

Parents claim, as do the voucher schools, that they are in existence to improve on the performance of students who were formerly in public schools, yet the state has never imposed a requirement of testing on these voucher schools to prove that they accomplish this. Now, the Senate is lowering the requirements that are in place.

The money (more than $6,500) that are from the public school funding and given to voucher schools for each pupil who attends is a serious loss for the public school system. The public schools are continuously held accountable, testing students to the point where sometimes it is hard to find time to teach. Public school teachers are held to a rigorous standard of continuing education and proving themselves at their own expense while teachers in the voucher system do not face such requirements. Now it seems that one more check will be removed from the private voucher system.

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The paper mentions that State Superintendent Tony Evers proposed some of the changes that were approved. My guess would be those were the ones that required background checks for employees and strengthened financial accountability measures — both excellent and timely ideas!

Tamerin Hayward

Racine

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