Representative Lisa Subeck Call on Department of Public Instruction to Investigate Possible Private School Voucher Fraud
MADISON – Today, Representative Lisa Subeck (D-78) sent a letter to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, calling on his department to investigate whether fraud has been committed by the pastors and director of a private voucher school after a news story ran indicating the a voucher provided for their own child’s enrollment was used to help with other children’s tuition. The school involved, Lighthouse Christian School, is the only school in Dane County participating in the statewide voucher program.
The original story aired on WISC-TV and may be found at: http://www.channel3000.com/news/Parents-consider-impact-of-public-school-voucher-expansion/31102130
The full content of the letter sent by Rep. Subeck to Superintendent Evers is below.
February 5, 2015
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers
Department of Public Instruction
125 S. Webster Street
P.O. Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers,
Yesterday, WISC-TV in Madison aired a story regarding Wisconsin’s school voucher program. The story featured a school in my district, Lighthouse Christian School, which is the only school in Dane County participating in the statewide voucher program.
During the segment the reporter interviewed a family that received a voucher for their child’s tuition at Lighthouse Christian School. The reporter, Jessica Arp, reported that the parents, who also serve as the church’s pastors and school’s director, received a voucher then used it for students other than their own daughter.
Specifically, the reporter stated, “Isabela's parents, Marcio and Tia Sierra, are the pastors and director of the school. When they received the voucher, they said they used the tuition to help others get in to the school.”
The full text and video from the news segment may be found at: http://www.channel3000.com/news/Parents-consider-impact-of-public-school-voucher-expansion/31102130
Wisconsin State Statutes, in 118.60(2), outline specific family income and other guidelines under which a child may quality for a voucher, which can then only be used for that qualified child.
Based on statements made by the reporter, it appears this may be a violation of our state statutes and a fraudulent use of a voucher issued under the school choice program. I urge you to investigate this instance of potential fraud and to take appropriate action should your findings reveal that such fraud has been committed.
Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this very important matter.