I pose this as a serious question. What would the motive be for the governor (or anyone else) to destroy public education?
Is the motive, as the loudest critics of charter schools and vouchers often claim, to reward politically powerful for-profit education enterprises with government funds? The problem with that scenario is the paucity of for-profit schools in the Milwaukee voucher program. Hard to reward schools that barely exist.
Is the motive to destroy the teacher’s union? It seems unlikely given that Act 10 already stripped teacher’s unions of most of their power. Using vouchers or charters as a back door strategy to hurt unions makes little sense when you’ve already taken them on directly.
Is the motive to indoctrinate kids with religious beliefs? Well, parents freely choose to enroll their students in private schools accepting vouchers, so presumably they are ok with the religious affiliation of their child’s school. More important, under state law parents are free to opt-out of religious instruction in any private school accepting vouchers.
Is the motive to reward kids already in private schools? First off, charter schools are public, meaning this motive cannot apply to their expansion. Second, the voucher expansion is limited to switchers and students in entry grades. In other words students already in a private school will not get a voucher to keep attending the same school.
Is the motive to save money by enrolling more students in schools receiving less public funds? I suppose this one is more plausible than the rest.
Having spent a lot of time in choice and charter schools I can tell you on the ground these programs, despite their flaws, are nothing more sinister than an alternative mechanism for educating some of Wisconsin’s neediest students. Isn’t it possible that the real motive behind choice and charter expansion is to help Wisconsin students? Why is that so hard to believe?