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Reported deal reached on school aid increase, voucher expansion

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State legislative Republicans are said to be close to an agreement to give more state aid to Wisconsin public schools, tied to a limited statewide private school voucher program.

A conservative group said this morning that a deal was reached. But as of mid-day, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that lobbyists are trying to influence lawmakers by leaking out details.

A spokeswoman for Senate GOP leader Scott Fitzgerald says there continues to be “positive, ongoing discussions.”

Governor Scott Walker’s office said they’re still working with lawmakers on a plan to give parents quality education choices while protecting taxpayers.

The Journal Sentinel reported there is a deal.

It would give public schools an extra $150 per student in state aid in each of the next two years.

A tax-funded private school voucher program to give low-income students an alternative to public schools would go statewide but with sharp limits.

Only up to one-percent of a district’s students can be in a voucher program, and the state aid for those youngsters would not rise as much as the governor had wanted.

Private schools would have to be in business for two years before accepting voucher students – and it would not include Walker’s plan give vouchers to special needs’ youngsters.