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Family commission recommends expanding school vouchers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A commission asked to identify challenges facing families in Wisconsin has come up with a series of recommendations, including expansion of private school vouchers.

The Future of the Family Commission was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker last January. In its 94-page report, the commission identified 19 challenges facing families, including unplanned pregnancies, lack of quality education for high-risk youth, and a lack of support for men’s roles in sustaining families.

The commission came up with a dozen recommendations. In addition to school vouchers, it suggests offering marriage tax credits, increasing access to quality child care and offering financial and family planning skills in schools, the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/2guocKX ) reported.

Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said the governor looks forward to reviewing the recommendations. “The governor is committed to helping strengthen families as we move forward into the new year and legislative session,” Evenson said.

The commission also recommends that schools in Wisconsin employ and promote the “Success Sequence,” which emphasizes graduating from high school, landing a job, and waiting until marriage and age 21 before having children. The idea comes from and is promoted by Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based research group.

“Their recommendations are right in line with what we believe must be done,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, said of the commission’s recommendations. “I trust the state Legislature will utilize many of these recommendations and will make this a very high priority this session.”

The report does not include a cost estimate for implementing the recommendations, which could factor into Walker’s upcoming budget proposal.

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