Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Virtual Schools vote on Tuesday

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While most of us will be distracted by the presidential primary, the state senate will be taking up the virtual schools compromise. The good news is that the legislation is finally moving forward. The bad news is that some in the state senate will try to use this opportunity to put unnecessary and harmful restrictions on this innovative education method. From the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families:

Indeed, we believe there will be attempts to impose new restrictions on virtual schools (including an arbitrarily tight enrollment cap) which are not a part of the compromise that was already negotiated and agreed upon.

1,100 of us marched on the Capitol to get us this far. Yet, while the carefully-crafted compromise passed with a unanimous bipartisan vote out of the Senate committee and by a two to one margin out of the Assembly committee, nothing is certain from this point out. So, we’re not done yet!

As we said, we believe that opponents will try to attach “poison pill” amendments that, once included in the bill, would significantly alter the compromise. This would be an attempt to choke virtual schools toward their ultimate demise, or to purposely unravel the compromise. Either way, amendments to the fair compromise alter the bipartisan agreement that was announced just a few short weeks ago.

So, even though a fair, bipartisan compromise was worked out and agreed to, if we don’t keep the pressure on, this deal could fall apart.

It is imperative that this bill receive a clean vote, up or down, without amendments. This long-negotiated, bipartisan compromise saw both sides give and take. The compromise has already been agreed to and received broad, bipartisan support. Including new concepts, new ideas, or new provisions at this late date would alter the agreement and could kill the compromise.

Remember, every kid deserves a great school!

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