I believe public schools are the heart of our communities. Taxpayer-funded vouchers are quietly bleeding our public schools of much-needed funding. This school year, vouchers silently skimmed $245 million in taxpayer state aid away from our public schools.

School districts are being forced to pay for taxpayer vouchers in their districts. This year Marshfield paid $58,584, Merrill paid $175,752, Stevens Point paid $339,225 and Wausau paid $428,610 for private school tuition. The costs will be higher next year.

Eight-five percent of this year’s taxpayer vouchers went to students who were already enrolled in private schools.

Wisconsin has traditionally been a leader in supporting public schools, but for the first time we have slid below the national average. How long can our communities survive when our public schools are forced to provide increasing financial support for private schools?

Our current legislators support this type of irresponsible privatization of our public schools.

When our public schools are adequately funded, they provide smaller class sizes, individual instruction, highly-qualified teachers, social, athletic and other critical resources.

I ask you to be informed, pay attention and protect our public schools.