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A Milwaukee Election May Test Voters' Views of Vouchers

All five pro-voucher representatives on the Milwaukee school board are up for re-election April 1st. They currently hold a one-vote majority on the nine-member board. Four of them, including John Gardner-the leader of the voucher movement-are challenged by candidates endorsed by the teachers union, which opposes vouchers. Milwaukee has the country's oldest voucher program, but the vote will not actually affect the survival of the program. Only the Wisconsin Legislature has the authority to dissolve the program. The election may serve, however, as a message to other districts with growing voucher programs. The vote will demonstrate whether or not the city has developed confidence in vouchers after 13 years of the program.

"It's really powerful if a district sees this election and says, 'Gee, it's really working out there, and it's helping us, too,' " says Henry
Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College.

The article, entitled "A Milwaukee Election May Test Voter View of Vouchers" appeared in the March 18th edition of the WNYC Radio .

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