by Brenan Fischer –
Governor Scott Walker seeks to “radically” overhaul Wisconsin’s education system using several pieces of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model legislation, and to do it through the budget process, meaning this privatization agenda could be enacted with minimal public discussion or debate.
The proposed budget provisions have the potential to “radically change public education in the State of Wisconsin,” says Julie Mead, chair of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
On the campaign trail in 2010, Walker had pledged to “strip policy and pork projects from the state budget.” But at least 46 non-budgetary items have been slipped into the proposed 2013-2015 budget, including ALEC-connected proposals limiting local school board oversight for charter schools, expanding “voucher” programs, and creating new teaching licenses for individuals with no education background.
“If these proposals have merit, they should be discussed in full light of day,” she said. “They should not be snuck in through a budget bill.
The ALEC-inspired budget provisions include: