Wisconsin Must Advance School Choice

July 28, 2020

Special Guest Perspective by Candidate Julian Bradley, A Republican running in the 28th Senate District


Editor’s Note: MacIver does not automatically publish columns or any other type of submission from political candidates running for office. We decide if something should be published on a case-by-case basis. Any other candidate running for this seat, Democrat or Republican, is welcome to submit a column on this subject matter. MacIver reserves the right to refuse publication for any reason we see fit.  


If the statue toppling, social justice warriors across our state want to help minorities rise out of poverty and succeed, their number one goal ought to be advancing school choice in addition to demanding a massive overhaul of failing public schools. 

Yet, the one place that always seems to escape the fury of liberals— inadequate education. 

School choice has benefitted students of all races, and its impact on minority students in Wisconsin is clear. It’s without question that the quality curriculum provided at schools such as Cristo Rey or St. Marcus improves outcomes for minority students. Last year, tens of thousands of students and their families used school choice to attend a private school. In Milwaukee alone, nearly 30,000 students took part in the program. 

Blind loyalty to the teachers’ union results in minority students remaining in failing schools, the demonization of parents who seek educational alternatives, and the sentencing of children to a lifetime of playing catch-up. Hypocrisy at its finest. 

In 2016/17, there were over 20,000 students attending the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) that failed to meet expectations. In 2018/2019 53.2% of MPS failed to meet expectations. Since 2016, math proficiency in MPS has stayed around 13% while English has dropped from 16.9% in 16/17 to 15.9% in 2018/2019. Crickets from the left. 

Wisconsin has been a leader providing many different educational opportunities since we enacted the first school choice program in 1990. In the beginning, school choice had bipartisan support. But over time, Democrats abandoned the cause, siding with the education establishment. So, the teachers’ unions that control so many local school boards push for your tax dollars to pay their members and collect union dues, which the unions then use to support the Democrats that keep them in power. 

These are the same groups that push taking away choices of all schools to go back to in-person education this fall, regardless of what administrators and parents might want. These mandates will undoubtedly widen the education gap between the haves and the have-nots in our state. 

Like most Wisconsinites, I want to close that gap. I believe tax dollars should follow students and be directly spent in the classroom, providing a quality education that will help future generations succeed.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. Students’ needs are varied, so they need options. For example, I attended an excellent public high school in Wisconsin, and I support public schools. But for other students, a virtual school, home school, private school, or open enrollment may provide a better fit. I trust parents to make the best choice for their children and the arrogance of the education establishment in opposing more opportunities for children who remain in failing schools is unacceptable. 

Unfortunately, instead of focusing on opportunities like school choice that give students a leg up, liberal politicians have again decided to try and score political points rather than improve our state. Wisconsin families deserve better, and that’s why I support empowering families through school choice.