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School choice could be Wisconsin's next "lightning rod" for unions


MADISON, WI  (WSAU)  -  The Governor’s budget proposal will be announced tonight, and one of his already-announced projects has the ability to turn into another powder keg similar to Act 10.

That issue is expanding school choice vouchers.

Governor Walker wants to open the Wisconsin Parental Choice or private school voucher programs to nine new school districts with failing or near-failing schools.

Green Bay’s Superintendent Michele Langenfeld fired back Tuesday saying the governor's plan puts "a black mark" on the community. The Green Bay district has 19 out of 37 schools that are receiving a 'D' or 'F' under the state’s new school report card.

Harvey Newman from New York’s Center for Educational Innovation told the Wisconsin Reporter newspaper Tuesday, “To see Walker become an advocate for charter schools has the potential to act as a lightning rod for unions nationally.” The awkward part is the public schools usually have every Democrat as an ally in fighting school choice, but President Obama actually supports it.

Newman says the rest of the country will be watching Wisconsin again as they consider school choice initiatives elsewhere, especially in the red states.