More Homeschooled Students Are Designing Their Own Class Rings
July 1, 2005
Madison, WI -- The State Senate passed the budget bill at 5:15 in the morning, shortly after critics say they slipped in a $14.6 million "pork" amendment. The amendment gives a $100 tax credit for each child homeschooled, or enrolled in private school. Currently, parents of these children pay the full cost of their education, but they still pay taxes for public school education.
Homeschool Mom, author and support group leader Alison McKee says most in the homeschool community are opposed to any state dollars, because it may lead to mandates later. "It's not too far of a stretch to see that we would start to fall under some sort of standardized testing regiment." She says. McKee adds, for many, state restrictions or requirements to follow certain curriculum or yearly testing would defeat the purpose of teaching at home, where parents can decide what, when and how to teach their children. She also says she has not problem paying for a public school system even though she doesn't use it, because education choices should not be limited.
Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) disagrees with the tax credit, not just for what it is, but also for how it came about. "This was a document that was not part of the original budget, was not reviewed by the finance committee, was not discussed in the Assembly first, so it's obviously a last minute piece of pork added at 3:00 this morning to try and get the necessary votes needed to pass the budget." Risser says since the budget passed 17-16, Senate Republicans paid $14 million for one vote.
Governor Doyle also criticized Senate Republicans for the moving, calling it "A good example of a mindless effort to appease on Senator."