State DPI pushing for Assembly to pass voucher bill

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MADISON (AP) — State Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Tony Evers is pressing the Assembly to pass a bill that would freeze school voucher expansion.

The state budget Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed last summer laid out new qualifying criteria for vouchers based on a city’s size, poverty levels and per-pupil spending. The new standards made districts across Milwaukee County as well as in the city of Racine eligible.

Voucher opponents fear the language could qualify schools around the state. The state Senate passed a bill in October limiting voucher participation to schools in the program when the measure takes effect.

Walker has said he supports the legislation. But a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, a Horicon Republican, says Fitzgerald doesn’t know if he has enough votes to pass it.