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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


In November 2021, Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin vetoed a state Senate bill that would have tripled the number of literacy tests administered to students in kindergarten through second grade. The vetoed bill also contained provisions mandating that educators create personal reading plans for students identified by the tests as at-risk. 

Sponsors of the bill argued it would address the subpar reading scores of students in the state. Evers vetoed the bill on various grounds, including lack of funding to implement the program and insufficient evidence that more testing boosts reading proficiency.

In his 2023-25 state budget, Evers proposed a $2.6 billion funding increase for K-12 schools — up 15% from last state budget. Some of the funding would go towards initiatives to improve literacy, including $10 million each year to train early-childhood literacy coaches. However, Republicans who run the Legislature have already signaled they plan to trim Evers’ spending proposal. 

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


State of Wisconsin Signed veto letter for Senate Bill 454

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Tony Evers vetoes bill to increase literacy tests, saying more testing won’t help proficiency problems

State of Wisconsin Press release: Gov. Evers announces budget initiatives to do what’s best for kids, support K-12 schools

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Eight things to know about Gov. Evers’ plans for K-12 public and private schools

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Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.