ERIC Number: ED342062
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Choice: Wisconsin Style. Education Issues.
Underwood, Julie K.
In March 1990, the Wisconsin legislature passed into law the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. Its enactment made Wisconsin the only state in the nation with a private school voucher plan. Litigation concerning the constitutionality of the program has involved the following actions: (1) the Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to hear the case; (2) the Dane County Circuit Court ruled the law was constitutional on its face; (3) the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held the program violated the Wisconsin Constitution; and (4) the Wisconsin Supreme Court accepted the petition for review in March 1991. Arguments that have been raised during this process deserve further attention since they will be raised in similar situations across the nation. First, must there be a system of accountability to ensure that children who participate receive an adequate education? The choice program does not require that schools abide by the statutory minimum public school standards. Second, must all the students' individual rights be ensured? In the area of education of handicapped children, the County Circuit Court judge held that participating choice schools should not be obligated to provide an appropriate education for handicapped students who wish to participate. Finally, but foremost, if the answers to the first two questions are no, can choice programs square with the notion of public schooling traditionally held in the United States? (35 notes) (MLF)
Descriptors: Accountability, Constitutional Law, Court Litigation, Educational Vouchers, Elementary Secondary Education, Private School Aid, Private Schools, Public Schools, School Choice, School Law, State Courts, State Legislation, State Standards, Student Rights
Robert M. LaFollette Institute of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1225 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706.
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Robert M. LaFollette Inst. of Public Affairs.
Identifiers: Milwaukee Parental Choice Program WI; Wisconsin
Note: A product of the Wisconsin Center for Educational Policy.