Thursday, September 4, 2014
Your Panicked Governor: Here Come The School Vouchers
Scott Walker needs a gimmick. He needs a gimmick fast - one that won't kick him in the ass should he get re-elected like his promise of 250,000 new jobs did.
That shit cost him and he's sworn off saying anything like that again.
The brain-trust over at his campaign headquarters took a break from drawing straws on who would be willing to go to jail next, to think up a gimmick that sounds like a promise but won't actually have to be delivered.
Voilà! Lifting the statewide cap on school vouchers.
Why is it undeliverable? Because too many Republican State Senators don't want it - because their communities don't want them. They will never let it pass in Madison and Walker knows this. He can blame the legislature and still get to dish up red meat to the teabillies. Brilliant. Or not?
75% of children who currently get voucher money were already attending their private school - now they are subsidized to go back by Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer.
Voucher schools aren't held to the same standards as public schools - neither in the staff they hire nor in the standardized tests they give. Adjusted for inflation - vouchers pay a higher education rate per pupil than public schools in Wisconsin - which is at an all time low, BTW.
Voucher schools get to send problem kids back to their public school and keep the money as long as they hold on to them just long enough. That way, their discipline and/or test scores disappear along with the kid giving them a rosier overall report card. Public schools are mandated by law to educate ALL children, no matter what.
Mary Burke was quick to push back yesterday, after Walker's announcement, calling him out for the panicky gimmick.
The general public know a lot more about the dark side of school vouchers than they did a few years ago. A lot of people didn't know that voucher schools weren't fully accredited like their local public schools. They also got to see plenty of voucher schools go belly up after running out of money, failing to pay their teachers or sneaking out of state during the night.
If this is Scott Walker's "BIG IDEA" for the 2014 campaign season, we say bring it on. It's a dud.