So those voucher schools Republicans are so fond of? Yeah, they’re a huge waste of (139 million) taxpayer dollars!

Republicans really love them some voucher schools.

In fact, they love vouchers schools so much they’ve increased voucher school spending seven times faster than public school spending since 2011.

Unfortunately, it’s clear a good amount of that extra Republican spending on voucher schools has gone to waste, as the Wisconsin State Journal is reporting nearly $139 million in taxpayer dollars have been sent to voucher schools that were subsequently barred from participating in the state’s voucher school program for an assortment of reasons.

Over the past 10 years, Wisconsin taxpayers have paid about $139 million to private schools that were subsequently barred from the state’s voucher system for failing to meet requirements related to finances, accreditation, student safety and auditing, a State Journal review has found.

More than two-thirds of the 50 schools terminated from the state’s voucher system since 2004 — all in Milwaukee — had stayed open for five years or less, according to the data provided by the state Department of Public Instruction. Eleven schools, paid a total of $4.1 million, were terminated from the voucher program after just one year.

In response to this scandal (and that’s really what this is), Democratic lawmakers have called for legislation that would hold voucher schools to many of the same standards required of public schools, including licensing for teachers, background checks for teachers and administrators, and comparable graduation requirements.


Related Articles

25 thoughts on “So those voucher schools Republicans are so fond of? Yeah, they’re a huge waste of (139 million) taxpayer dollars!

  1. Another way to look at this issue is to note that crappy voucher schools have been shut down when necessary while crappy public schools continue to waste funds astronomically higher than that wasted on bad voucher schools. If the public school system in WI, or anywhere for that matter, had any success in reforming their own schools, I might be inclined to listen to the whining.

    1. The idea that we have tons of “bad” public schools in Wisconsin is a right wing media lie with no evidence of reality. Are there a few bad ones (or bad teachers) here and there? Of course. But overall we have a very good public school system.

      1. “Are there a few bad ones (or bad teachers) here and there?” asks Maseman. As you noted, of course. But public school systems have shown no ability to weed out bad teachers or to close bad schools. As such, perhaps the weeding out of bad voucher schools can be viewed as a healthy sign that the public system should emulate. But this kind of reform never happens from within the public school system, because the emphasis, though unstated, is not on the education of the children but rather the protection of the union teachers.

          1. Sure. Any time a parent has the option between a public school and a voucher school and chooses the voucher school, that parent is doing so in the belief that their child will be better off educationally (and perhaps socially, spiritually, morally etc..) than if they stay in the public school. So many parents want to make this choice where it is available that unions fight to stop them from having educational options for their children. The data is damning for the teachers union because if the voucher schools weren’t any good, the union would have nothing to fear.

      2. Correct Mase. What Dicky N. doesn’t want to admit is that Wisconsin’state public schools still do as well as they can, despite the dwindling resources and GOP LIES about it.

        If that’s not true, explain why MPS does better than voucher schools in teaching poor kids from Milwaukee, despite the fact that only MPS takes the kids no one else wants to accept.

        The only crisis that exists in public schools is one caused by underfunding from ALEC-bought legislators. Remove them, and you start to fix the “problem.”

    2. I thought this topic was on Voucher Schools!

      “So those Voucher Schools Republicans are so fond of? Yeah, They’r a waste (139 million) of taxpayer dollars!”

      Changing the topic by Denis to an attack on public schools and providing no source challenging or disputing the waste of $139 million is classic trolling and unacceptable.

      For the record ,I have two grandchildren attending a Voucher School and my son has admitted to me their reading comprehension is not equal to public school standards. Also, I approve of a few long established Voucher Schools, but not at taxpayer expense.

      1. Duane, I have provided no source regarding the waste of $139 million because I am not challenging the number. Rather, I am challenging the emphasis on the loss of this money while ignoring the problematic public school system and the far greater waste therein. This can hardly be viewed as changing the subject. Regarding your progeny, why is he sending his two children to The Kids Who Can’t Read Good Voucher Academy? It seems that he is complicit in the wastefulness, unless there are other good reasons to avoid the local public school. And to say that you approve of few voucher schools so long as they are not at public expense makes no sense. They are a government program, of course they are at public expense.

        1. Denis your reply is a continuation of changing the subject and adds a personal attack. I will not enable your trolling any further.

          1. By all means flee the argument Duane12, but I must challenge you on your assertion that I am changing the subject. Vouchers exist because well meaning, thoughtful and courageous Republicans decided to increase the power of students and parents relative to the teachers union because the latter are doing an abysmal job in many cases, particularly urban areas. You seem to want to discuss vouchers without acknowledging the reason they exist in the first place. We still need options beyond the school system, though at times there will be issues to address, such as those noted by Zach.

            1. Denis,

              W/R/T your “by all means flee the argument,” why do you, Denis, refuse to provide a link after your demand to Steve Carlson?

              “September 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm
              Where is your link proving that a dramatic increase in the price of labor would not result in business closings? Or better yet, forget the link and use common sense instead. What happens when costs go up? Demand goes down, right? If demand for labor decreases, we have an increase in unemployment.”


              I posted four links in that thread and asked for you to respond. I’ve reposted them in later threads and asked for you to respond.

              Are you fleeing the argument?

              My 10:38 a.m. in this thread was addressed to you. Where is your response? Are you fleeing another argument?

            2. Denis, where did Duane flee from the argument? He simply chose to disengage after what he felt was a personal attack against him by you. As to your comment about him not making sense, I’d encourage you to read the correction he made.

              Let’s all just try to keep things civil, because I’m getting tired of having to hover over every thread like an Amazon drone.

              1. Zach, there was no personal attack, other than him calling me a troll. But I can take it. Yes, he made a correction, to his credit, but only AFTER I pointed out that what he wrote made no sense. And despite his claims, I stayed on topic. We have obvious policy differences which he seems to have taken personally. Not much I can do about that.

                1. And anybody who was not anally retentive and nit-picking over an unintentional mistake, would have understood the context and intention in Duane’s first comment. We know you can take it, just like Scott Walker hiding in the tunnels you hide from actually engaging in any discussion.

                  You blamed public schools and teachers in their unions in a high poverty districts as being the cause of parents needing a school choice. That well-meaning experiment has failed miserably.

                  Poverty and school under-funding and lack of parents being available, through needing to be at work 24/7 just to survive, not being able to be there for their children, to help with homework, to monitor their children’s activities, too poor to enroll them in extra-curricular activities, are all a bigger part of the picture that you continue to ignore. Get over yourself, you know little if anything about education for starters.

      2. Correction: “…Voucher Schools, but not at taxpayer expense.” should read “…Private Schools, but not at tax payer expense..”

      1. So as not to be accused of fleeing the argument, I will respond. I am a capitalist and I am concerned about the quality of public schools. That said, I think that if money, or lack thereof, in the public school system was the primary issue, we would have the best schools in the world or close to it. We don’t. You said I need to pay more. Is that because you think I am a CEO? I guess I kind of am but I am the janitor as well. How much should I pay?

        1. Denis, according to you, the “primary,” problem with public schools is labor costs and union representation.

          Link to one example where reducing compensation attracted and retained better quality workers.

          1. John, I won’t play the thousand question game with you. However, I am willing to continue discussing your point about needing to pay more for public education. How much do I need to pay? Or if you would rather, how much money spent, per student, would get the job done satisfactorily in your view?

            1. A clear question and who’s fleeing the debate? You. There were a couple of simple straight-forward questions about claims you made. I don’t see a thousand questions, so NO you would only be playing two questions, but even that is too much to give up your beliefs and acknowledge reality.

              Don’t respond if you cannot provide an answer, or just respond and admit it, you don’t know. Your authoritarian paternalism won’t let you just say, YOU DON’T KNOW the answer.

  2. What’s interesting to me is how many schools have the words Faith, Grace, Resurrection, Kingdom, Conquerors, Trinity, The Way, The Truth, Christ, Christian or God in their titles. Maybe, it’s religion that should be blamed for the failure of voucher schools. Maybe, it’s a sign sent from Jesus… DO NOT FUND VOUCHER SCHOOLS!

    1. It seems many former “Private” or “Religious” schools have now become Voucher schools at taxpayer expense which tries to merge or combine a traditional “readin, writin, and rithmetic” with the agenda or teaching method of the private or religious school.

      When, for private schools, you consider a sports program, busing, health services, help for students with special needs, and other ancillary needs, as well as a separate plant or building, the financial burden on providing a duplicate educational system is unsustainable by the taxpayer. Also, add to this mix a “return on investment” to owners or stockholder of a voucher school.

      We need to get back to the intent of the State Constitution in providing a “public” education..

Comments are closed.