Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Walker Hamstrings Ellis

When Scott Walker came out with the horrible proposal of the day - expanding the sale of our children's future, aka the voucher program - there were some odd specifics included in it.

One such specific that is worth noting:
While charter schools can be built physically anywhere, only students in school districts with at least 4,000 students and schools with a “D” or “F” on their report card (the same criteria as choice) will be able attend without the possibility of a district veto. Students in smaller or higher performing districts will need district permission to attend an independent charter.
Four thousand is a rather curious number.  But it does hold some significance in that it is a warning shot over the bow to one of the more powerful Republicans in the state legislature - Mike Ellis (R- Hair Club for Men), who is the president of the state senate.

Ellis, if the gentle reader will recall, went against the flow and took a stance for the people instead of the profiteers:
The president of the Wisconsin Senate said Thursday that he will oppose any expansion of school vouchers unless local residents vote on such a move, a proposal that could jeopardize growth of the program outside of Milwaukee and Racine.

Republican Mike Ellis told The Associated Press he has made it known that he will block any growth of the program without requiring a vote of people in the local school district, setting up a conflict with powerful school choice advocates and other members of his party who oppose such a requirement.

“We will have democracy at its purest,” Ellis said of his idea. “The people will decide.”
Now take a look at the numbers for some of the school districts in Ellis' district:

  • Hortonville 3570
  • Kaukauna: 3931
  • Menasha 3668
See the pattern?  You can also see why it's doubtful that Walker's decision to use 4,000 as the cap was coincidental.  It is also doubtful that these districts have one, much less to D/F schools that would allow the privatization to occur.  Yet.

This move is simply to shut Ellis up for the time being.

As my tipster pointed out, it would also come as no great surprise if Walker, Scott Fitzgerald, Robin Vos and company are working one of their politics over policy or people types of bills that will squash Ellis' resistance once and for all.


  1. I thought Ellis idea of voting on the voucher system was a good idea.

  2. It is a good idea (granted, a better one is drop the stupid, failed idea of vouchers in the first place, but failing that, Ellis has a good idea).

    Remember when Republicans believed in local control? Not so much anymore