By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Gov. Veto strikes again.
A week after smashing a 95-year-old veto record, Gov. Tony Evers killed another 28 bills on Friday. The Democrat canceled everything from legislation on universal school choice and a parents bill of rights to measures checking government power over health emergencies.
“Because of Governor Evers, the future for children in Wisconsin is less bright today,” Chris Reader, executive vice president of IRG Action, said following the governor’s latest veto barrage.
Evers wiped out a package of educational reforms, among them the School Choice for All bill. The measure would have eliminated the income and enrollment restrictions in Wisconsin’s school choice programs. It also creates a $1,000 per student education reimbursement account program to help parents with educational opportunities beyond the public school classroom.
Evers claimed he vetoed the bill because of the “drastic impact it could have on families.” It’s more likely he’s concerned about the impact universal school choice would have on enrollment at the failing public schools he presided over for a decade, as families with more power benefit from expanded educational opportunities. The impact would also be pronounced on the coffers of the state’s teachers unions, big contributors to Evers’ campaigns.
”It is shocking that Gov. Evers would veto such an important piece of legislation for Wisconsin’s students. State report cards clearly showed that choice schools on average in Milwaukee and Racine are performing at twice the proficiency levels as public schools in these areas,” said Rachel Ver Velde, director of Workforce, Education and Employment for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. “This legislation would have created opportunities for students throughout Wisconsin to have better outcomes and access to innovative education.”
Blocking parental rights
Evers also vetoed legislation establishing a parent’s bill of rights in education. The bill demands what should be self-evident: That parents are the primary authorities in the care of their children.
“The legislation will help parents take back power from the public-school establishment, ultimately empowering parents and improving outcomes for children,” asserts a letter signed by more than 200 parents statewide in support of the legislation.”
Curiously, Evers wrote that he vetoed the bill because he “objects to sowing division in our schools.” But he has pushed and endorsed the kind of divisive radical indoctrination in schools that parents and communities are concerned about. His whole “equity” agenda is based on the politics of division, presented as “diversity and inclusion.”
The CRT governor
So it’s not surprising that Evers killed more legislation that would bar the kind of race-centric training and propaganda he endorses in the state’s higher education system.
At the same time, the governor stopped a transparency provision requiring universities and tech colleges to post their course syllabuses online.
The bill’s co-author, Sen. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) noted UW-Madison’s requirement forcing grad students to take critical race theory training, and making them admit that, by virtue of their race or sex, they are oppressors.
“This bill would have enabled students to fight back against such coercive thought control by having an opportunity to issue a complaint or file a civil action if they are subjected to what amounts to Maoist shaming sessions,” Jacque said.
Power to the bureaucrats
Evers, who illegally expanded the powers of the executive branch over the course of the pandemic, vetoed a bill that would ban government officials from requiring individuals to show proof of COVID vaccines before receiving services, doing business, or entering a government building.
The governor objects because of “the Legislature’s continued efforts to inject partisan politics and rhetoric into public health practices.” It’s an interesting take from a Democrat who at about every turn has injected liberal partisan politics into his administration of state government.