Senate Bill 22 is expected to pass both houses of the state legislature, and if it does, education in Wisconsin could change in profound ways that surpass the aftermath of the budget repair bill. The bill passed the Joint Committee on Finance on Oct. 26, and was previously passed by the education committees of both the Senate and the Assembly.
When SB 22 is signed by Governor Scott Walker, it will create a new, statewide school district of charter schools funded by taxpayers but not be accountable to them. How? Because the statewide charter school board will be appointed by the Governor, not elected by state residents.
Further, the charter schools will be funded ... well, that part might still be a little hazy, but it's safe to assume (yeah, I know) the money will be redirected from state aid to local school districts.
Let that sit for just a minute. The Governor will hand-pick a group of people who will set up charter schools and fund them with money that would otherwise support local public schools.
For Racine Unified, this is just more bad news. Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) agrees. He serves on the Finance Committee and voted against the bill.
He said money to pay for a new charter school is another blow added to the $10 million hit Unified took with the 2011-2013 biennial budget.