Wisconsin considers ‘parent petition’ voucher

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Residents could petition to create a new school voucher program in Green Bay, Wis., under legislation passed by a committee of the Wisconsin Legislature, an advocacy group is reporting.

The legislation is now headed to the full Wisconsin Assembly, according to a press release from the American Federation for Children.

If a petition were successful, eligible families in Green Bay could access vouchers to send their children to qualifying private schools, the report said. In a press release, the federation called the “parent petition” for a school voucher program the first of its kind in the country, noting that California residents used a “parent trigger” law there to convert a failing elementary school into a public charter school, the report said.

The new voucher program, if triggered by a petition, would begin with 250 students in the first year, 500 in the second and progress to no cap on voucher enrollment in subsequent years, the press release said.

American Federation for Children, “Wisconsin Legislature Moves Forward with ‘Parent Petition’ Voucher Effort for Green Bay,” June 4, 2011

Michigan Education Digest, “School choice programs gain ground,” April 12, 2011