Tougher requirements adopted for Wis. voucher schools

Private and religious schools looking to enter Wisconsin’s voucher program will be met with tougher requirements.

Under new legislation that unanimously passed the State Senate Tuesday, the 68 schools looking to enter the program next year must maintain accreditation from legitimate agencies.

Previous law only required schools in the program to receive accreditation, but not keep it.

Critics say it allowed under-performing schools to keep receiving taxpayer dollars.

While the new provisions are met with some criticism, one area private school leader believes it adds value to a school’s accountability.  “You’re having to submit all your programs, what you’re doing, your test scores, all those things to an external body that reviews that and helps give you a fresh set of eyes of you know, what are you doing really well, what can you improve at, and setting goals,” said President of Aquinas Catholic Schools Kurt Nelson, Ph.D.

The new requirements would begin with the 2015 school year.