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Bill increasing schools accountability lacks support in committee

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A new Wisconsin school accountability bill might take longer to pass than anticipated.

Senate GOP Education Committee chairman Luther Olsen has decided not to hold a vote Thursday on a bill that would give public schools A to F grades.

He said he didn't have the votes in the committee to pass the measure -- which would close failing schools or make them become charter schools, and prohibit voucher schools from taking on new students if they ones they have are not performing up to snuff.

Olsen told reporters that Democrats on his panel opposed the plan -- as did Senate Republican Paul Farrow of Pewaukee. Olsen said he wanted to create a system that treats all schools fairly and, "That's slipping away from me."

He said it hasn't helped that there's currently a lot of political disagreement over the state's Common Core public school standards. He said Common Core has, "polluted the atmosphere" between Capitol Republicans who oppose the standards, and education officials who favor them.

Most failing schools under the state's current grading system are in Milwaukee -- where the head of the teachers' union has accused state Republicans of taking away local decision making and centralizing control in Madison.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)