RESOLUTION OPPOSING VOUCHER EXPANSION
February 25, 2013

WHEREAS, public schools in the State of Wisconsin are held to strict accountability standards in an effort to measure student achievement and academic progress, unlike private and parochial schools which are not required to give state assessments or publish student achievement data; and

WHEREAS, public school districts in the State of Wisconsin accept and educate children regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, special needs, religion or academic talents, as opposed to those institutions that are able to reject applicants based on low academic performance, discipline issues, special needs, or any number of factors; and

WHEREAS, the Wisconsin Legislature reduced public education funding for the 2011-13 biennium; and

WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Wisconsin recommends the expansion of vouchers and special needs vouchers in his 2013-2015 biennial budget; and

WHEREAS, the Madison Metropolitan School District is one of the districts in the State of Wisconsin recommended for voucher expansion against the wishes of the governing body of the School District; and

WHEREAS, there is no consistent evidence to demonstrate that students who utilize vouchers make better academic progress; and

WHEREAS, the Madison Metropolitan School District believes in and has invested in multiple supports and services for our students with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education believes that any expansion of the voucher program in the District has the potential to result in an increase in the District property tax levy, in order to support such an expansion; and a corresponding loss in state aid to the District; and

WHEREAS, the implementation of a voucher program that takes any financial resources away from MMSD’s neighborhood public schools is unacceptable; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Education wishes to maximize its available resources for the support of its operating programs for our neighborhood schools, without the need to accommodate or implement a voucher program; and

WHEREAS, the Madison Metropolitan School District’s focus on equity among all schools would be seriously jeopardized by a voucher system; and

WHEREAS, the Madison Metropolitan School District supports local control and the ability of the elected Board of Education to make decisions to support the learning of our students.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Madison Metropolitan School District opposes any legislation or other effort by the Wisconsin Legislature to expand a voucher program in the Madison Metropolitan School District or any program that would have an effect similar to that of a voucher program, and encourages its elected officials to oppose the same.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education directs its Superintendent to take immediate action to alert the District's state legislators about the need to oppose voucher legislation in the Madison Metropolitan School District and the negative consequences on the school district and the public education system and to provide a copy of this resolution to them.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Madison Metropolitan School District will encourage others, including parents, students and District taxpayers to recognize the detrimental effect of a voucher system on public education in the Madison Metropolitan School District and to contact elected legislators to convey the importance of supporting public education in the State of Wisconsin.

Board signatures