Wisconsin U.S. Senate campaign rivals Ron Johnson and Russ Feingold disagree over Johnson’s plan to limit federal enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act at taxpayer-funded private voucher schools.
Johnson, the incumbent Republican, said his proposed amendment to a spending bill would curtail U.S. Justice Department probes into disabled students’ rights at the voucher institutions. The plan comes after a four-year investigation of Milwaukee's voucher program.
"If you are going to conduct an investigation, have a cloud hanging over an organization's head for years, you ought to find out why," Johnson said. "There should be procedures in place, so these Justice Department investigations don't continue forever."
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Johnson denied his measure would harm disabled Children. But Democratic challenger Russ Feingold accused Johnson, in effect, of saying disabled students at voucher schools don't deserve equal protection.
"So I think he should retract this," Feingold said. "It's a terrible position he's taken and the response has been very strong. It's almost unimaginable that somebody would say it's okay to allow this kind of discrimination in a school that gets public dollars."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin also criticized the amendment.