Thursday, January 19, 2006

School Vouchers: The Real Debate

As promised in my previous post, here are the positions of the two sides on the school voucher debate:

Doyle Proposal

  • Increase school voucher cap from 15% to 18%
  • Eliminate all prior-year eligibility rules, thereby allowing children to participate in the voucher program regardless of where they attended school the previous year
  • Increase the income eligibility cap for families who want to participate in the voucher program from 175% to 220% of the federal poverty level
  • Allow MPS to count each voucher student at a rate of 45%, phased in over five years, when calculating state aid; all of the funds that come from this must be used by MPS for instruction
  • Starting in the 2007-2008 school year, increase SAGE funding from $2000 per participating student to $2500 per participating student
  • Increase the enrollment cap on the Racine Charter School from 400 to 480
  • Implement mandatory WKCE standardized testing in grades 3-8 and 10 of all schools participating in the voucher program
  • Starting in the 2007-2008 school year, make it mandatory for all voucher program schools to be accredited by one of a number of specified independent accrediting authorities


Republican Proposal (Vukmir & Darling)

  • Remove all enrollment caps on the school voucher program
  • Undertake a privately-funded study of the school voucher program in Milwaukee led by researchers from Georgetown University
  • Make standardized testing voluntary for voucher schools, but make it mandatory they release the test scores if they do implement the testing
  • Eliminate all prior-year eligibility rules, thereby allowing children to participate in the voucher program regardless of where they attended school the previous year
  • Increase the income eligibility cap for families who want to participate in the voucher program


There they are—the two positions as they stand now. It’s time to keep the public discussion on the merits of these points moving forward.

UPDATE: On January 22, 2005, I added the last two points to the Republican proposal based upon a post by Peter DiGaudio at "Texas Hold 'Em." For more explanation, see here.

1 Comments:

Blogger Xoff said...

Thanks for trying to bring some sanity to the debate. I have stolen it all but given you credit.

January 19, 2006  

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