School funding a concern

I appreciate Publisher Randy Rickman’s column calling on our legislators to work together on issues that need to be resolved.

Education seems like the perfect issue to start with. Please keep in mind that my comments do not include public charter schools.

Have Wisconsin citizens lost focus on how important public schools are for a democracy? The current use of our tax money to pay for private school tuition has repercussions that are already harmful to maintaining the equality and standards of public education, and consequently opportunities for all our children. Under the current voucher system in a few Wisconsin cities, private schools receive more money per student than public schools. Do private schools have the same standards and testing as public schools? I have personal experience with schools in Green Bay, one of the cities in the voucher program. Neighborhoods with low home prices and rentals have failing public schools. Are we going to provide private school vouchers for all children from those neighborhoods? Many private schools are based on a religious belief or system. Should tax money be used to teach those beliefs?

I speak with legislators from both parties about legislation on many issues and hear common goals. I do not hear or see focus and follow through on the original goal of legislation. An example is the recent legislation affecting rape kit testing. A bipartisan bill addressing the main issue passed the state Assembly. The bill going to the Senate has changes and additions that involve the issues of immigration and private school vouchers. This allows discrimination and bias to be built into our system of government.

Is it time to have a conversation or a vote about the value and consequences of funding private schools with tax money?

We deserve better from our elected officials.

Janet Frase

Eau Claire