UNITED STATES NEWS

Wisconsin Supreme Court refuses to hear lawsuit challenging voucher school program

Dec 13, 2023, 2:44 PM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Democrats seeking to end the state’s taxpayer-funded private school voucher program.

The lawsuit could be refiled in county circuit court, as both Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration and Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos had argued. The Supreme Court rejected it without comment in an unsigned, unanimous order.

Democrats who brought the lawsuit asked the state Supreme Court to take the case directly, which would have resulted in a much faster final ruling than having the case start in lower courts.

Brian Potts, attorney for those challenging the voucher programs, did not reply to a message seeking comment.

Supporters of the voucher programs hailed the court’s rejection of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit “was plagued with misleading, misinformed, and nonsensical legal arguments,” said Rick Esenberg, president of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. That group represented private schools, parents of students who attend them and other advocates of the program.

Democrats have argued for decades that the voucher program is a drain on resources that would otherwise go to public schools.

The lawsuit argues that the state’s revenue limit and funding mechanism for voucher school programs and charter schools violate the Wisconsin Constitution’s declaration that public funds be spent for public purposes. It also contends that vouchers defund public schools, do not allow for adequate public oversight and do not hold private schools to the same standards as public schools.

The nation’s first school choice program began in Milwaukee in 1990. Then seen as an experiment to help low-income students in the state’s largest city, the program has expanded statewide and its income restrictions have been loosened. This year, nearly 55,000 students were enrolled.

The lawsuit was filed two months after the state Supreme Court flipped to 4-3 liberal control.

The lawsuit was brought by several Wisconsin residents and is being funded by the liberal Minocqua Brewing Super PAC. Kirk Bangstad, who owns the Minocqua Brewing Co., is a former Democratic candidate for U.S. House and state Assembly.

United States News

Musher Dutch Johnson, a kennel manager at The August Foundation for Alaska Racing Dogs, runs a dog ...

Associated Press

Alaska’s Iditarod dogs get neon visibility harnesses after 5 were fatally hit while training

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Iditarod, the annual sled dog race celebrating Alaska’s official state sport, is set to get underway Saturday with a new focus on safety after five dogs died and eight were injured in collisions with snowmobiles while training on shared, multi-use trails. For the first time, mushers who line up for […]

39 minutes ago

FILE - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference...

Associated Press

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton beat impeachment. Now he wants Super Tuesday revenge on his foes

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton beat impeachment. On Super Tuesday, he wants political revenge. The Republican, who just six months ago was on the brink of removal from office, is charging into Texas’ primaries on a dramatic campaign to oust dozens in his own party. They include rank-and-file legislators, state judges […]

41 minutes ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 29, 2024. Short...

Associated Press

Ukrainian troops are rationing ammo. But House Republicans plan to take weeks to consider aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ukrainian drones fly without ammunition. Russian artillery unleash deadly volleys from safe positions beyond the range of Kyiv’s troops. Shortages of ammo and supplies are resulting in lost ground to Moscow, U.S. congressional leaders warn, yet the Republican-controlled House has shown little hurry to resupply Ukraine with military aid. Across Washington, officials […]

58 minutes ago

FILE - Registered Republican voters stand in line March 6, 2012, for the caucus event in Rathdrum, ...

Associated Press

Republicans in Idaho, Missouri and Michigan will meet to weigh in on the presidential race

More delegates are up for grabs Saturday as former President Donald Trump looks to get closer to clinching the Republican nomination and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley seeks her first win. Trump, who is especially strong in caucuses, is expected to add to his delegate lead in Republican caucuses in Idaho and Missouri, as well […]

59 minutes ago

FILE - Music fans relax during a break in the entertainment at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, A...

Associated Press

Peace, music and memories: As the 1960s fade, historians scramble to capture Woodstock’s voices

BETHEL, N.Y. (AP) — Woodstock didn’t even happen in Woodstock. The fabled music festival, seen as one of the seminal cultural events of the 1960s, took place 60 miles (96.5 kilometers) away in Bethel, New York, an even smaller village than Woodstock. It’s a fitting misnomer for an event that has become as much legend […]

1 hour ago

***HOLD FOR JEFF MCMURRAY STORY**** Pedestrians cross the street at the intersection of Washington ...

Associated Press

A New Jersey city that limited street parking hasn’t had a traffic death in 7 years

Street parking was already scarce in Hoboken, New Jersey, when the death of an elderly pedestrian spurred city leaders to remove even more spaces in a bid to end traffic fatalities. For seven years now, the city of nearly 60,000 people has reported resounding success: Not a single automobile occupant, pedestrian or bicyclist has died […]

1 hour ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Wisconsin Supreme Court refuses to hear lawsuit challenging voucher school program