LaCrosse Tribune | COLUMN: School Funding Column Doesn’t Tell Whole Story

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty’s Educational Research Director, Dr. William Flanders, recently posted an editorial for the Tomah Journal addressing an editorial written by State Senator Julie Lassa, who painted a misleading picture of the funding for public schools and voucher schools in Wisconsin.

Senator Lassa’s interpretation of funding for voucher programs compared to public schools sides with opinion rather than fact. Dr. Flanders shares,

“Lassa suggests that the state is prioritizing students in voucher programs over those in public schools by simply comparing state aid in per pupil funding. But that doesn’t tell the entire story. When all public dollars are accounted for, funding per student in the voucher program remains significantly lower than the funding for the average public school student — both in Tomah and statewide.

What the Senator conveniently leaves out is that funding for public school students in Wisconsin does not simply come from the state level. Rather, public schools are funded through a combination of state, local and federal dollars. On the other hand, school vouchers are funded entirely at the state level. When the total funding for public schools is taken into account, public school students receive at least 40 percent more funding than students in the voucher program.”

Senator Lassa’s misleading information argues that the state legislature has misplaced priorities favoring students in voucher programs over public school students. This is not the case. Voucher schools throughout Wisconsin have consistently educated students more cost efficiently and students have  recieved better test scores, when compared to publicly funded schools.



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