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Assembly Republicans Float New School Choice Option PDF Print E-mail
Written by GBP Staff   
Friday, 07 October 2016 13:06

teaching-studentsPlan could poise a new school choice vehicle, which typically takes money that would otherwise go to public schools.

MADISON - According to the Wisconsin State Journal Thursday, Wisconsin parents could pay for K-12 school expenses — including tuition at private schools — with a taxpayer-funded savings account under a program Assembly Republicans are considering.

What’s known as Education Savings Accounts would be set up for parents to pay for tuition, textbooks and tutoring, according to a proposal in the Assembly Republican caucus agenda for 2017, released last month.

The accounts — dubbed the next generation of school vouchers by education policy experts — would add an option for Wisconsin parents, who already have a variety of alternatives to their designated public school, including open enrollment to other public schools, voucher-assisted private schools and independent charter schools.

Critics say the accounts represent the latest attempt to erode public schools.

The use of the education accounts in five states — Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee — offer clues about how they might work here if lawmakers pursue the idea.

In general, parents of eligible children receive several thousand dollars from the state to pay educational expenses. Parents can use the money to pay for tuition at private schools, books, tutoring or other costs, including in some cases extracurricular activities. In some states, any leftover funds can be saved for college.

Hunter Railey, a policy researcher for the Education Commission of the States, said in the states where ESA programs exist, parents can’t use the money to send children to a different public school district.

Public school advocates characterized the accounts as similar to a school voucher, which typically takes money that would otherwise go to public schools as students leave the schools to attend private schools.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 October 2016 13:25
College Students Struggling with Mountain of Debt PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 September 2016 13:21

student-loansCollege students across Wisconsin are returning to classes this week, but soon they will be leaving our universities with an ever-increasing burden of student loan debt.

RHINELANDER, WI – With the conclusion of the Labor Day weekend, college students across Wisconsin are returning to classes and looking forward to starting a new year of learning and opportunity. However, those students are also leaving our universities with an ever-increasing burden of student loan debt.

bryan-van-stippen“As one of the 800,000 Wisconsin residents paying off student loans, I know first-hand the struggles students are going through trying to climb out of crushing student debt,” said State Senate Candidate Bryan Van Stippen. “The average debt load of a Wisconsin student is $28,800. That’s enough for a new car or a down payment on a house. Families across the state are struggling to get ahead because they are strapped with student loan debt payments and are unable to refinance.”

While on the Joint Finance Committee, Senator Tom Tiffany voted for the $250 million cut to the UW system, eliminated staff protections, and presided over an unprecedented exodus of faculty and staff from the 26 colleges and universities of the UW system.

“Senator Tiffany continues to side with big Wall Street banks over the needs of our middle class Wisconsin families by blocking families from being able to refinance student loan debt. By reinvesting in the UW system, retaining top-notch faculty, and allowing families to refinance student loan debt, we can turn around our economy and keep our graduates in Wisconsin.”


Bryan Van Stippen is running to represent the 12th Senate District in northern Wisconsin. Residents can learn more about Bryan at:

K-12 Education Cuts Signals Need for Reinvestment in Our Children’s Future PDF Print E-mail
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Sam Erickson   
Friday, 15 July 2016 10:06

kidsRHINELANDER, WI – This week marks the one-year anniversary of Scott Walker’s budget cuts to Wisconsin’s K-12 system. For the third consecutive budgetary session, Gov. Walker and Senate Republicans prioritized funding for unaccountable Milwaukee voucher schools over Wisconsin’s starving public schools. As the July 12th anniversary comes and passes, school districts around the Northwoods are still feeling the negative impacts of the cuts.

bryan-van-stippen“There is no question that the misplaced priorities of legislative Republicans have left rural schools behind,” said Senate Candidate Bryan Van Stippen. “Years of historic Republican budget cuts have created serious challenges for Wisconsin’s rural schools and forced many of our local communities to rely on raising property taxes just to keep the lights on. While Wisconsin’s millionaires have had their deep pockets padded through irresponsible tax breaks, school districts across the state have been left wondering if any help is around the corner.”

“My opponent, Senator Tom Tiffany, voted for the most recent biennium budget that resulted in these cuts. Using his position on the Joint Finance Committee, Senator Tiffany was instrumental in tearing away the very public school funding that his constituents rely upon,” Van Stippen continued. “Wisconsinites in the Northwoods place a high value on the quality of their public education, while clearly Senator Tiffany does not.”

“If elected, I intend to do everything in my power to reverse this dangerous trend by restoring state support for our public schools. I understand the importance of our K-12 education system and I will prioritize the futures of our children over tax breaks for billionaires. Our students deserve better,” Van Stippen concluded.


Bryan Van Stippen is running to represent the 12th Senate District in northern Wisconsin. Residents can learn more about Bryan at:

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