NEW INFORMATION: Wis. school accountability bill may be dead

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A sweeping school accountability bill that would force poor-performing public schools to close may not have enough support to clear the Republican-controlled Assembly Education Committee.

The measure already appears to be dead on arrival in the Senate, where Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said there's no appetite to impose the proposed sanctions.

Instead, the Senate Education Committee plans to vote Thursday on a more narrow proposal that would ensure data from private schools in the voucher program gets reported.

At least one Republican on the Assembly Education Committee also opposes the sanctions bill. Rep. Steve Nass's spokesman Mike Mikalsen says that Nass will not vote for the bill that's up for a hearing Wednesday.

Mikalsen says the choice now is to either do nothing or pass the Senate bill.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Poor-performing public schools would be forced to close under a sweeping accountability bill up for a public hearing before the Wisconsin state Assembly Education Committee.

The hearing Wednesday on the Republican-sponsored bill comes even as the Senate is taking a different approach to school accountability and not pursuing sanctions for poor performance.

The Assembly bill would assign a grade to all publicly funded schools and failing public schools would be forced to close. Failing private schools that accept students who receive taxpayer funded vouchers would not be allowed to take any more voucher students.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says the Senate will pursue a more limited approach focused on ensuring that voucher school data is collected and reported. He says further action could be taken next session.

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