State Sen. Jennifer Shilling calls for more accountability for voucher schools

Some state lawmakers are asking private schools taking part in the voucher program to be held accountable.

The program gives 500 students across the state money to attend a private school.

State Senator Jennifer Shilling co-authored a bill to put accountability standards in place. That includes hiring licensed teachers, performing background checks, and participating in the statewide school report card program.


“We have excellent schools here in Western Wisconsin and many private schools are already meeting these criteria, but if some of these private schools that are now going to be participating in the voucher program are accepting taxpayer money, we feel they should have the same reporting requirements put on them as our public schools are meeting day in and day out,” said Shilling.

Required or not, a local school receiving voucher funds says they’ve been doing everything necessary to stay up to standards. “Just because it wasn’t in the legislation, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. There are lots of things that schools are doing to be accountable because we recognize we’re not only accountable to the government, but we’re directly accountable to parents who can decide at any point if the school is a good for for them or not,” said Dr. Kurt Nelson.

A similar bill put forth by state republicans only garnered four sponsors.