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Milwaukee Common Council Rejects State Takeover of the City’s Public Schools

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Author: dianeravitch

The Wisconsin legislature is considering a bill sponsored by two suburban Republican legislators that would allow a state takeover of the city’s lowest performing schools, which would be turned into charters or voucher schools. None of this is new to Milwaukee; it has had a charter sector and vouchers schools for 25 years. The public schools outperform the other sectors. Well, let’s see what happens? Does Governor Scott Walker and the Legislature listen to the citizens of Milwaukee or do they listen to ALEC and the Koch brothers?

The Milwaukee Common Council overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing the state takeover:

Milwaukee Common Council Adopts Resolution Firmly Opposing Kooyenga/ Darling MPS Takeover Proposal
Filed under: MPS Takeover 
Introduced by Alderperson Tony Zielinski and adopted by the Milwaukee Common Council on June 21 2015

Resolution opposing the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program proposal currently pending in the Wisconsin Legislature.

This resolution expresses the City’s opposition to the provisions of the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program proposal currently pending in the Wisconsin Legislature.

Whereas, The proposed Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program currently pending in the Wisconsin Legislature provides that the Milwaukee County Executive oversee the turnover of up to 5 struggling Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) district schools to public charter or private voucher school operators; and

Whereas, The proposed program would diminish the power of Milwaukee City residents to control their public school district by allowing non-City residents to indirectly control the operation of certain City public schools by playing a part in the election of the Milwaukee County Executive who would have the authority to intercede in MPS operations; and

Whereas, Turning over struggling MPS schools to public charter and private voucher school operators is no guarantee of success given the fact than many public charter and private voucher schools have been no more successful than MPS in improving the performance of low-performing schools; and

Whereas, A change in governance of struggling MPS schools offers no promise to remediate the root cause of poor performance in low-performing public schools and seems a thinly-veiled attempt by the state to privatize public schools; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, By the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee, that the City of Milwaukee opposes the provisions of the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program proposal currently pending in the Wisconsin Legislature; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the City Clerk shall forward copies of this resolution to members of the City of Milwaukee’s delegation to the State Legislature and Governor Scott Walker.

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