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Lawmakers Close in on School Vouchers Deal

Alex Hagan

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Lawmakers Close in on School Vouchers Deal

CREATED Jun. 3, 2013

GREEN BAY, WI- State lawmakers say today they're close to a deal that would expand the private school voucher program to schools statewide. A decision is expected from the joint finance committee tomorrow.

 The proposed new deal will not just be the original nine districts in Walker's budget. Voucher enrollment would be limited to one thousand starting in 2014, but opposition say that could change down the road. 
The school voucher expansion plan, almost at a close.
"Taken a turn in terms of the plan for vouchers," says Brenda Warren.
The new compomised proposal not the same as the original. No more than one percent of any district's students would be lost. 
 "It's not a very good idea," says Sen. Dave Hansen.
But Democrats say that doesn't mean it  won't change. 
 "Now it's going to be statewide limited in the beginning, but down the road could be unlimited."
Supporters of voucher expansion stand by public schools.
 "Protect our public schools, we invest in those."
But also choice as well.
"There are some children that do need a different education opportunity and i think we need to address those as well," says Rep. Jim Steineke. 
"Make adjustments appropriately."
Green bay school board president Brenda Warren is prepared for expansion, but says the funding isn't unlimited for two tiers of schools. 
"Looking at decreasing funding for public education at a time where we've already had decreased funding over the last couple years, significant decrease in funding," says Warren. 
But lawmakers look to make a compromised deal to make both sides satisfied. 
Representative Steineke says he expects an outline by tomorrow morning on the school vouchers before heading into the remaining issues in the budget tax cuts and medicaid are also sticking points.