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Budget measure would limit release of performance data on private schools

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A last-minute item in the new state budget would limit the public release of performance data for private schools in the state’s choice program.

A measure inserted Wednesday by Assembly Republicans calls for a uniform release of data from the private schools in the program.

It also prohibits the state from releasing selective numbers on individual schools in advance of those uniform reports – unless the affected schools consent to the release beforehand.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the measure might prevent the public from learning about things like the tax money each private school gets, complaints against those schools, and even lists of their board members.

State public school superintendent Tony Evers issued a strongly-worded condemnation of the measure yesterday. He such limits on information would never be tolerated for the public schools – and they should not be acceptable for those private schools which get tax funds from the vouchers of low-income kids.

Jim Bender of School Choice Wisconsin and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said the measure is designed to prevent Evers – a choice opponent – from cherry-picking data to make a private school look bad.

They said the schools’ basic performance data would all come out in the end.