It will take a new Capitol compromise to keep Wisconsin’s virtual schools open after action Tuesday by the state Senate.

At the request of Gov. Jim Doyle, the Senate voted to cap enrollment for online schools at the current level – now about 3,500 students statewide – while a study is done on virtual learning.

Under the Senate changes, that number of online students could not go up again until the 2011-’12 school year, and then only by about 875 students. Dozens of parents and virtual school students came to the Capitol on Tuesday to fight the enrollment cap.

The 18-15 vote by the Senate – controlled by Democrats – sends the measure to the Assembly, which is run by Republicans.

The Assembly will meet for only a few more days before its scheduled adjournment next month. There might not be time to negotiate a compromise to changes dictated by Doyle, who promised to veto any bill without an enrollment cap.

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