Gov. James E. Doyle of Wisconsin has signed legislation that will raise the cap on the number of students who can take part in Milwaukee’s state-sponsored school voucher program.
The measure increases the number of vouchers that can be awarded by 7,500, to a total of 22,500. Supporters of the program sought the change as the number of students receiving vouchers, which are worth up to $6,300, neared the previous state cap. (“Deal May Pave Way for Milwaukee Voucher Expansion,” March 1, 2006.)
As part of a deal between leaders of the Republican-controlled legislature and the Democratic governor, the measure also requires private schools in the program to obtain independent accreditation and administer a nationally normed test. The scores will be used to study the voucher program’s effectiveness.
In addition, state funding for class-size reduction for grades K-3 in public schools will increase from $2,000 per student to $2,250 per student—an additional $25 million—in the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years.
A version of this article appeared in the March 22, 2006 edition of Education Week