A bill to synchronize and simplify the state’s four parental choice programs in time for the upcoming school year has passed the Legislature with overwhelming support from Republicans and a handful of Democrats who weren’t afraid to defy their party.

SB 293, which passed the Assembly late Wednesday night by a vote of 67-30, is a consensus bill developed by School Choice Wisconsin and the Department of Public Instruction.

The bill passed the Senate last week and now heads to the Governor, who is expected to sign it.

The bill, which had bi-partisan sponsorship, includes 25 provisions, see descriptions here, aimed at reducing bureaucracy and improving accountability in the four programs.

WCRIS organized support for the bill and brought several school leaders to the Capitol earlier this month to testify in support, including incoming WCRIS Board President Dr. Chris Cody of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod-South Wisconsin District.

“We are grateful to all of the principals who responded to our action alert and contacted their legislators and to our friends at the American Federation for Children and School Choice Wisconsin who worked with legislators to pass this important bill,” said WCRIS Executive Director Sharon Schmeling.

In addition to full support from Assembly Republicans, the following Assembly Democrats also voted for it: Reps Dave Considine, Jason Fields, Don Vruwink, Leon Young, JoCasta Zamarripa and Josh Zepnick.