Tony Evers stands in the schoolhouse door

to prevent parents from choosing the best schools for their kids.

Democrats are good on allowing mothers to choose whether their unborn child will live or die but not so much on where they will go to school (should they choose the “life” option).

Pretty much describes Tony Evers, governor of Wisconsin. Flush with one-time money, his budget proposes to pour $2.6 Billion more into our public K-12 schools while choking off school choice. Why? Because parents are voting with their feet. There is pent-up demand for school choice and the corresponding decline in public school enrollment.

“Governor Evers has built a career on the votes of teachers union members, and his budget proposal represents a massive gift to these supporters who don’t like the competition that choice and charter schools provide.”  

— Will Flanders of WI Institute for Law & Liberty

Tale of the tape

Wisconsin’s K-12 public schools are teaching 36,4978 fewer students — a one-year decline of 4.3% statewide. Same story in Wisconsin’s fastest growing city (by absolute numbers). From 27,012 students in the 2018-19 school year, enrollment in the Madison Metropolitan School District declined to 25,244 this school year.

By contrast, enrollment in the Wisconsin’s private school choice programs increased 6.7% to 52,189 students this year. In the private school choice program that applies outside Milwaukee and Racine, enrollment exploded from the first 499 students in 2013-14 to 11,740 students. So what’s Tony Evers’ solution? Cut ‘em off at the pass!

The statewide program is capped of 5% of public school enrollment to grow one precent a year until the cap is completely phased out in three years. The governor proposes to freeze the cap at this year’s 6%. For good measure, Evers would jettison the Office of Educational Opportunity. That’s the UW-based entity that approved Kaleem Caire’s independent charter, One City Schools. 

A world of regrets: Tim Michels and Rebecca Kleefisch would have signed into law the Republican legislature’s bid for universal school choice.

Education is opportunity

School choice is a boon to poor families, which includes those of color. You qualify if your income is 220% of poverty. The separate Milwaukee and Racine choice programs are even more generous: three times the poverty rate qualifies.

Parents want a better shake for their kids. At MMSD, 34.2% of students score below basic competence in reading and writing — 2½ points dumber from the previous school year. It’s worse for black kids: a full two-thirds (67.2%) score in the worst of four performance categories.

Math is even sorrier: 40.9% of all students can’t do it — a 7.5 percentage point decline from 2018-19.  Three-quarters (76.1%) of black students do poorly. Just under half (47.4%) of black kids are chronically absent — six times more than the 8.0% truancy rate of white kids in Madison’s public schools. 

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Ran for Madison school board in 2019 to improve our public schools so they could compete with all comers, not to choke off the competition. Lost big.

What choice do we have?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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8 Responses to Tony Evers stands in the schoolhouse door

  1. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    What choice do we have?

    Blaska had a choice back in 2019:

    He bet Ali Muldrow a Big Pineapple that the 77 Square Miles Surrounded By A Sea Of Reality would continue to see a net decrease/out-migration of MMSD enrolments going forward.

    That choice? He shoulda Let It Ride!

    The Gotch

    Liked by 2 people

    • White Hills says:

      Your choices are:

      Move to a suburb, go to a private school, or homeschool.

      To be fair. Madison has grown a lot really fast. You got the endless growth you wanted. Now you’ll have to deal with the impacts. One of which is too many people competing over scarce resources. Such as space in a legitimate school.

      Waiting lists for most grades in most area private schools are common now. Homeschooling meeting groups are common now. Suburban zoning codes mostly forbid smaller more affordable houses to be built. So your entry price into a Mad suburb is now >$400k. Every house below that sells within days.

      It doesn’t pay to be a teacher in public school. Cost-benefit and ROI incentives don’t line up. The teacher shortage is real and the state isn’t doing anything about it.

      State competency standards aren’t enforced in public schools. The schools can’t. Too much bureaucracy. Instead it’s become a game of gaming test scores. That’s what B means by deteriorating standards. Woke is dumb. It’s institutionalized now.

      None of this bodes well for most people. No one will change for you.


  2. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    Lack of School Choice results in poor education, and the poorly educated tend to make poor choices; to wit:

    Catalytic Converter Stolen From OSCAR MAYER WEINERMOBILE At Las Vegas Super Bowl

    Oy! At long last, have these people No Shame…?

    The Gotch


  3. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    What choice do we have? The only choice progressives, especially the Madison variety, approve of. And this applies not just to education–or, more accurately, indoctrination if we’re talking about public schools run by fanatical ideologues–but to every aspect of your life, public and private.


  4. pANTIFArts says:

    The woke left is insistent on “re-imagining” education. They also demand that people “re-imagine” public safety, by way of “re-imagining” policing.

    This is because only those with an “imaginary education” are capable of appreciating the “imaginary safety” that only “imaginary police” can provide.

    If you “ain’t brain-smart”, and haven’t “wenten to college lately”, you aren’t capable of understanding these concepts and should defer to your intellectual superiors.


  5. Madtownforsure says:

    Why isn’t there any coverage from our favorite biking capital of the world biking city Media regarding the 2 to 3 overdoses EVERYDAY? Not a peep. Why is that? Mayor? Cricket’s.


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