Voucher Schools are not required to check their teachers or administrators for Criminal Background!

By Nissan Bar-Lev

Unbelievable: Voucher Schools are not required to check their teachers or administrators for Criminal Background… Consequently, criminals/sex predators may be in the classroom – the last place anyone, including trusting parents, would expect them to be…

State Representative Andy Jorgenson and others are hoping to pass new legislation this fall to halt this unconscionable practice. Please note Representative Jorgenson’s press release below:

Assembly Democrats: Keep Criminals Out of Classrooms with Voucher Accountability and Child Safety Act

MADISON – On August 2nd, 2011, State Representative Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee), together with Rep. Andy Jorgensen (D-Fort Atkinson), Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) and Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine), introduced the Voucher Accountability and Child Safety Act, legislation which will require teachers, administrators and owners of private schools participating in taxpayer-funded school voucher programs to undergo the same background checks now required of all public school teachers.

“Whether in a public school or a voucher school, we cannot allow dangerous criminals, including sex predators, to endanger our children,” said Grigsby. “Last session, Democrats led the charge to end fraud and protect children in the Wisconsin Shares program. Now, we’re doing the same thing by ensuring safety in taxpayer-funded voucher schools.”

Grigsby and her colleagues have been working for this commonsense reform for months, ever since Governor Scott Walker and Republican leaders first committed more tax dollars for a significant expansion of the voucher program in the budget. However, amendments mirroring the Voucher Accountability and Child Safety Act were batted down along party lines both in the Joint Finance Committee and on the Assembly floor.

“It’s disgraceful and dangerous to allow politics to get in the way of our children’s best interest,” said Jorgensen. “No matter your view of voucher schools, we should all be able to agree to do what we can to keep young people – our most vulnerable citizens – out of hands of criminals.”

“Students deserve some measure of safety and security in their classrooms, and with a simple background check, the state can help provide that,” said Pasch. “For those who care about protecting our children—our most precious resource—this bill is essential.”

The Voucher Accountability and Child Safety Act is also sponsored by State Senators Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) and Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), and the bill authors are calling on their colleagues in both houses to now join in their efforts.

 

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