Committee votes to expand Wisconsin voucher program

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature's budget-writing committee has voted to expand Wisconsin's private-school voucher program.

Gov. Scott Walker has proposed doing away with the 1,000-student enrollment cap for the statewide program that began two years ago. But in doing that, Walker's plan would lower the amount of the taxpayer-funded voucher that students receive for their private-school education.

The Joint Finance Committee voted early Wednesday morning on a different funding approach that would keep the vouchers at the same level.

That is expected to cost public schools about $48 million over two years.

Enrollment statewide other than Milwaukee would be capped at no more than 1 percent of a district's population, going up 1 percentage point a year until 10 percent. After that, there would be no limit.

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