Evers vetoes bill increasing eligibility for voucher program

June 18, 2021 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers on Friday vetoed a bill that would have opened the door to more children going to private school using a voucher paid for by taxpayers.

The bill Evers vetoed would have raised the income eligibility for the voucher program to three times the federal poverty level.

Conservatives said the change was needed given increasing interest in sending students to private schools during the pandemic, which led many public schools to reduce in-person classes. But the change was opposed by the statewide teachers union and groups representing public school administrators, school boards and rural schools — all traditional opponents of growing the voucher program.

Evers, who was state schools superintendent before being elected governor, said in his veto message that he objects to diverting resources from school districts to private schools. He also said the bill was likely to increase property taxes in some school districts.