Mary Burke retreats from former statewide voucher support

Dem. candidate for governor Mary Burke is backing off of supporting school vouchers statewide.

From the WI S. Journal:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke said Tuesday if elected she would eliminate the new statewide voucher program and private school tax deduction in the next budget.

Burke, a Madison School Board member, previously said she didn’t support the statewide voucher program.

In response to a question at a luncheon at the Madison Club about what she would cut in the next state budget, Burke went further, calling statewide vouchers “a new entitlement program we frankly don’t need.” She also identified the private school tax deduction as something she would cut.

Note that she isn’t interested in rolling back anything in Racine and Milwaukee.

Burke said she does not support ending the Milwaukee voucher program, which was created in 1990 and has expanded to more than 25,000 students. Her spokesman also clarified that she would not cut the Racine program, which Walker and the Legislature created in 2011.

This is a major departure from where Burke stood in October of 2013.

Back then Jud Lounsbury wrote, “…when Mary Burke finally made a promise and told the Wisconsin State Journal that, although she opposed Walker’s statewide expansion of vouchers, she nonetheless would do nothing to remove the statewide voucher program, jaws dropped throughout Wisconsin’s progressive community.”

I’m curious to know why Mary Burke is fine with keeping the voucher program in Racine and Milwaukee.


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