Governor Scott Walker Joined by Hundreds in Support of School Choice

MacIver News Service | April 26, 2013

[Waukesha, Wisc…] Governor Scott Walker spoke at a rally on Thursday in support of his proposed expansion of school choice to districts with failing schools.

Walker spoke at La Casa de Esperanza in Waukesha. The Governor delivered his remarks to parents, teachers, students, and other supporters of school choice.

“It isn’t about a piece of legislation, or a law someday, it’s about making sure that more young people, more kids, have an opportunity to have a great education.” Walker stated during the event that legislators “need to understand that there is support for expanding school choice.”

Leaders from across southeastern Wisconsin joined the Governor in supporting his school choice expansion including former Lieutenant Governor Margaret Farrow who moderated the event.

“Low income families in Waukesha, West Allis and West Milwaukee should have the right to choose a school that offers a bright future for their children,” Farrow said, “I trust that Governor Walker and the legislature will move to strengthen this opportunity.”

Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima spoke before Walker at the event about his support of the Governor’s proposals. “As Mayor of the City of Waukesha, I support the expansion of charter schools and parental school choice for all of our families,” said Scrima.

Scrima was joined by 28 other local and state elected officials from southeastern Wisconsin in pledging support for Walker’s plan. The full list can be seen here.

The event was attended by more than 300 supporters of school choice. Walker’s plan would expand parental school choice to school districts with at least two failing schools and at least 4,000 students enrolled.

Some State Senators feel so strongly about the school choice expansion that they held a press conference after the event to state that they would not support a budget that does not have an expansion in it.

As the MacIver News Service reported yesterday, Sen. Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee), Sen. Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac), and Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) will make school choice a priority in the budget.

“We are here today to show our strong support for the expansion of school choice in the state of Wisconsin,” Vukmir told MNS, “We want to send a very clear message that not only do we support the expansion of school choice, we believe that it is so important that we will not be supporting a budget that does not include an expansion.”

Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas released a statement prior to the event supporting school choice as well, “”I support the Governor’s initiative for expanded educational opportunities for Wisconsin’s families.”

The Joint Committee on Finance began voting on items in Walker’s proposed budget on Thursday. This is expected to take several weeks, and the discussion on school choice is likely to be debated during the last couple JFC sessions.