GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - On Wednesday Governor Scott Walker will introduce his state budget.
Today Local 5 got a look at part of it.
The governor unveiled his plan to expand the controversial school voucher program.
For years, the voucher program operated only in Milwaukee. In fact, it was the first city in the United States to have a voucher program.
Last year the city of Milwaukee issued 24,000 vouchers to qualified families.
Two years ago, Governor Walker expanded the program to the Milwaukee County suburbs and Racine.
Now Green Bay, Fond du Lac and seven other communities could be added in the proposed expansion.
"By singling out Green Bay as a failing school district we are placing a black mark on our community" says Michelle Langenfeld, Green Bay Superintendent of Schools.
The Green Bay Public School District says it is strongly opposed to vouchers.
"As we siphon off resources with already limited resources we start to drain the vibrancy of a system" says Langenfeld.
The proposal gives eligible parents a state-funded voucher of more than seven thousand dollars towards private tuition.
"What is going to happen is the district will get less state aid, and that will lead to higher taxes for the taxpayer" explains Alan Wagner, Chief Financial Officer for Green Bay Schools.
The voucher program would be expanded to districts with over 4,000 students.
At least two buildings must have grades of "D" or "F" in the state report cards.
Last year Green Bay received 14 "D" grades and four "F" grades.
"Schools that did not have 95% percent participation in reading and math received deductions" says Langenfeld.
Green Bay takes issue with the grading system and believes by having all students, even those with limited English take the test, scores will improve dramatically.
Private schools say their standards are just as high.
"Any school that wants to participate in the voucher program would have to abide by that criteria. Accreditation standards, certain assessments necessary" says Dr. Joe Bound, Director of Education, Green Bay Catholic Diocese.
The voucher program is available only to students whose families earn less than 300 percent of the federal poverty rate, or $69,801 for a family of four.
"What it does is gives them the power to choose in a more open playing field" says Bound.
The proposal is not a slam dunk for Governor Walker, even with a 18-15 majority in the senate.
At least two republicans have spoken out against the plan.
"The taxpayers in Green Bay deserve an open and public discussion on this, not just a line item in the budget" says Brenda Warren, Green Bay School Board President.
Under Governor Walker's proposal, enrollment would be capped at 500 students statewide starting in the 2014 fiscal year and 1,000 students the next year.