GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - Tonight parents and taxpayers in the Green Bay School District have at least two chances to pose questions about school vouchers.
One to a group who supports the proposed expansion the other a local school district against it.
The Green Bay School district is opening the floor at its regularity scheduled school board meeting at 5:30.
They are expecting a large crowd after more than 50 parents already e-mailed comments and questions.
Then at 6:10 tonight Governor Scott Walker will talk about his proposal at Saint Thomas More Catholic School in Green Bay.
We are told Bishop David Ricken will also lend his support to voucher at that meeting.
Both events are open to the public.
"Unless we have the debate, the conversation, we may not discover the unintended consequences until it is too late" says Brenda Warren, The Green Bay Public School Board President.
"I just fundamentally believe there are a lot of families who want to try something better. Kids do not leave schools they love" says John Gard, who has supported school choice for at least 20 years.
Two sides of the same issue are both reaching out the public and using statistics to make their case.
"It is cheaper to send a child to a voucher school than to a public school. Dollar wise that is an irrefutable fact" says Gard.
However, according to Warren "It does increase taxes because our state funding goes down".
The proposal gives eligible parents roughly $7,000 taxpayer dollars to send their kids to private schools.
Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Green Bay and six others throughout Wisconsin could get vouchers because of bad grades on state report cards.
"I believe if you expand options all types of school environments will get better because they're going to have to compete and taxpayers will win" says Gard.
"If you are looking at privatizing education for children, that is not good for education. That is our position and many superintendents positions across the state" Warren says.
The Green Bay School District wants the voucher expansion removed from the budget.
Guard says that is exactly where it belongs.
"All school finance is always in the budget. It is the highest spending in state budget, not even a close second" he says.
While they hope for different outcomes in the legislature both events have community concern at their core.
"We have actually been asked directly by many lawmakers what is your community thinking, what is the pulse of the community and we really do not know" says Warren.
Again... Green bay public school's meeting starts at 5:30... At the district office.
Local 5 will have crews at both meetings tonight to bring you community reaction.