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Prediction: Wisc. school choice will 'carry the day'

Friday, January 18, 2013
Bob Kellogg (

A recent poll shows Wisconsin voters would like to see an expansion of the state's private school scholarship program, which is currently limited to cities.

Public Opinion Strategies' new survey [PDF] of 500 likely voters shows that 61 percent favor expanding school-choice programs. They also favor strong education reform measures for the state's more than 400 public schools.

Appling, Julaine (Wisc. Family Action)Julaine Appling of the Wisconsin Family Council (WFC) is not surprised by the results.

"Wisconsin has been in the forefront and leading on the school-choice issue for literally decades now," she notes, "and our people recognize the value of educational options being available to more people than just in Milwaukee and Racine."

However, she expects the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) will certainly oppose any expansion.

"Well, the unions and WEAC in particular have for all the years we've had school choice … been ardent opponents of school choice," Appling accounts. "And certainly they will weigh in on it. However, I don't think that they'll carry the day."

The WFC spokesperson explains that both houses of the legislature are controlled by conservatives, so she anticipates some increased opportunities for school choice in the near future.

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