Gov. Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 293 into law this week at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, making several technical changes to the state’s voucher programs.
According to the governor’s office, the bill streamlines, simplifies, and clarifies statutory language regulating program administration, pupil eligibility, school responsibilities, and reporting requirements.
Among other provisions it imposes background check requirements on choice schools, requires an audit that indicates the schools’ financial viability, but does allow private schools to submit a surety bond to the Department of Public Instruction as an alternative to a complete budget for its first fiscal year in the program, according to the Wisconsin Legislative Council analysis.
Authored by Sens. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), and Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), and Reps. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay), and Representative Jason Fields (D-Glendale), the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 28-5 and the Assembly concurred with a vote of 67-30. It is 2017 Wisconsin Act 36.