Impacts of school vouchers worry some public school officials
MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -
Wisconsin's superintendent of education Tony Evers stopped in Marathon County on Thursday.
His visit comes as the statewide school voucher program begins.
Newsline 9 spoke with Evers about his thoughts on the newly expanded program and how it might affect public schools.
"It's an expenditure that frankly I don't believe is appropriate for the state of Wisconsin," said Evers.
He says bottom line, the program isn't doing what it should.
"It's an experiment that frankly hasn't done what it was intended to do and that was increase student achievement," Evers said.
Earlier this year, the republican-controlled legislature expanded vouchers statewide.
Dr. Jan Klosinski, President of Newman Catholic Schools in Wausau, tells Newsline 9 that her system was happy to apply.
But she'd rather not talk about the politics of it.
"Well certainly we listen to all sides of the story it's not for us to make a judgment, again in our mission is to just help families and that's why our system applied," said Klosinski.
But some public school administrators are worried.
Richard Parks is the School District Administrator in Marathon City.
He says his schools haven't been affected by the voucher program yet, but he thinks it's only a matter of time.
"I think the biggest is the financial impact, if it's three students and vouchers follow those three students with the dollar amounts that are tied to them,” said Parks. “We can't necessarily reduce any staff, we will still have the same staffing we have but will have to do that with fewer dollars," Parks added.
The school voucher program is limited to 500 applicants this year.
State officials say next year that number is likely to grow to 1,000.