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Walker holds true to school voucher compromise

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Governor Scott Walker said he wanted to show that his “word was good” by limiting the expansion of Wisconsin’s private school choice program to what he negotiated with Republican moderates. Assembly Republicans tried at the last minute to sneak in a budget amendment that could have eliminated the enrollment limits – but when signing the budget yesterday, Walker held firm to his agreement from a few weeks ago. It expands the use of state-funded private school vouchers for low-income kids statewide.

Enrollments will be limited to 500 students this fall outside Milwaukee County and Racine, where the choice program currently operates. The limit would rise to a-thousand the following year, and Walker has said he hopes the program will be popular enough for people to want a further expansion in the 2015 budget.

The last-minute Assembly item would have allowed the current voucher schools to accept students throughout Wisconsin without counting them toward the caps. State Superintendent Tony Evers said it could have resulted in private choice schools popping up statewide.

Walker vetoed 57 items – a miniscule amount in a 14-hundred-page budget approved by legislative Republicans without a single Democratic vote.