Celebrating the Successes of School Choice in Wisconsin
Yesterday, I spoke during the Senate floor session to advocate for the passage of Assembly Joint Resolution 99 & Senate Joint Resolution 94, celebrating School Choice Week in Wisconsin. I introduced the resolution with Rep. Jesse Rodriguez, who shared her personal experience in the Assembly chamber to demonstrate how our choice schools serve to meet the need for quality education throughout the state, particularly for students from low-income families in urban areas.
To view the Joint Resolution in its entirety, please visit the following webpage. Below is a transcript of the speech I delivered on the Senate floor.
"Today, I rise to support this resolution recognizing all school choice options across the state.
This week is National School Choice Week.
School choice means parents – not politicians are in control of their children’s education. The money the state sets aside for each student should follow that student to the option the family chooses.
In Wisconsin, we created the first choice program – a voucher – for primarily minority and low income Milwaukee students. In the 28 years since, study after study has shown choice has outperformed their public school counterparts. And, public schools in Milwaukee have also improved. Competition and innovation breeds better outcomes.
In Wisconsin, the largest choice program is public school open enrollment of over 55,000 students. Open enrollment allows parents to pick the best public school for their child.
Additionally, open enrollment has allowed for the expansion of public virtual schools in districts.
I have toured or met with families utilizing these education options. All of them feel their child is receiving a better education because the family is involved in the decision process. Neither zip code nor income should be a final determinant to the school you attend.
Real students are having their lives changed thanks to school choice. From students working one day per work in a professional setting at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School to students preparing for careers at Milwaukee Lutheran High School’s Red Knight Institute to dozens of students open enrolling into Slinger High School’s STEM programs.
What all of these schools and programs have in common are the parents leading the charge to choose the educational path for our next generation. These schools and many more around the state are putting children above politics.
I am honored to have worked with Representative Jessie Rodriguez on this resolution to recognize all education options through National School Choice Week.
Let’s recognize the success of all of the education options in Wisconsin. Thank you."