Voucher schools would have to conduct background checks

Private schools participating in Wisconsin’s voucher school program would have to conduct employee background checks under a bill up for state Senate approval.

The bipartisan measure up for a vote Wednesday includes a number of changes to the state’s voucher program. It’s supported both by advocates for school choice and the state Department of Public Instruction. No one has registered against the measure, which makes mostly technical changes.

The bill would do away with certain academic benchmarks that choice schools must currently meet, but DPI backs that change because the private schools are still subject to state report cards.

It also changes numerous deadlines and application requirements that backers say will improve the administration of the program.

The Assembly was to vote on the bill next week.