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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Liberals are for choice everywhere except education

Tonight, Governor Walker proposes his state budget that will include a plan to expand school choice. Advocates of the failed one-size fits all concept of education are already up in arms.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorializes:

“Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to expand the voucher program more broadly in Wisconsin is ill-advised. We urge the Legislature to substantially modify this wrongheaded idea or kill it outright”

Then there’s the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter:

“It should be taken out of the budget and considered separately, with enough time for all sides to be heard.”

The anti-choice crowd is licking their chops, gleeful that some legislative Republicans are not sold on Walker’s plan.

Opponents of the Governor need a new reason to protest and this could be it. The Wisconsin Reporter interviewed one official who thinks the voucher expansion idea could spark more Capitol chaos.

“Is the Badger State gearing up for another Act-10 like battle? Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal seeking to expand Wisconsin’s voucher and charter schools could serve as another political lightning rod in the charter school movement, possibly bringing a return to massive Capitol demonstrations, according to a national charter education expert.

‘What he (Walker) is doing is attacking people who have a vested interest in the status quo,’ Harvey Newman, senior fellow at the New York City-based Center for Educational Innovation told Wisconsin Reporter Tuesday. Newman leads the center’s charter support network, an advocate of charter schools in New York and nationally. ‘This will create tension in the system. It has and will continue to organize opposition,’ Newman added.”

The liberal press is starting to load up on its coverage bashing school choice, using a wide brush to paint these alternatives as unworthy of state funding or expansion. Let’s hear from the other side.

Zeus Rodriguez is the president of St. Anthony’s School, where I went to grade school. It’s now a popular and successful option for parents dissatisfied with our failing public school system the despite tremendous financial support from taxpayers for decades consistently yields poor performance.

Rodriguez recently wrote a column in the Sunday edition of the Journal Sentinel:

“S
chools such as ours have continued to endure the politicking of critics not respecting the rights of parents to decide what's best for their own children.

“Let's start by addressing the most common of all claims abused by choice opponents: that ‘choice schools are not held accountable.’ It's a comment made generally by those who haven't spent a minute in a school such as St. Anthony's.

“First, all schools that participate in the Milwaukee choice program are required to administer the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination, with the results made public each year. Second, all schools that participate in the choice program are subjected to a rigorous financial audit by a certified public accountant and approved by the state Department of Public Instruction. Most important, schools that participate in the program have to answer to the families whom they serve each year.”

You can read the entire column here.

Don’t expect to hear much from the school choice side in the mainstream media between now and this summer when the Governor signs the budget into law.

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