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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

 9:19 PM 

Assembly votes to expand MPCP

The Assembly has passed AB 92, which would lift the enrollment cap on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and expand the program to private schools within the Milwaukee County, rather than limiting it to the city.

The bill went through on a 57-36 vote. Dems railed on the bill as an attack on both the city of Milwaukee and on public education as a whole.

"This program is not meant to be a free private education," Rep. Christine Sinicki, D-Milwaukee, said. She said choices between MPS, open enrollment and voucher schools already exist for students in the city.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said the bill was taking the program too far beyond its original scope, adding that its net effect would be to take money out of legislators' local districts and send it to private schools in Milwaukee.

"I don't know why you would even consider supporting this," Barca said.

Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, ripped Dem arguments that the bill would undermine public education, saying the debate is the same on every bill that has to do with the Choice program.

"I can't figure out what you're afraid of," Fitzgerald said.

"MPS is broken. It's broken. We wouldn't be in this situation if it was flourishing."

The Assembly is now in recess while the Rules Committee meets.


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