The Takeover of the Milwaukee Public Schools didn’t just start with Senator Alberta Darling and Representative Dale Kooyenga’s MPS Takeover bill. It started decades ago and one of the ways it has pecked away at MPS is through the proliferation of 2R city charters. These third party operators are issued charters by the city of Milwaukee. They have a poor track record for performance and like all other schools that are not publicly run, they have no restrictions on who they educate, allowing them to push out students they deem undesirable. They are also not accountable to a public school board elected by the people of Milwaukee, but rather they are an appointed commission with a dubious record of oversight. It is important to note that these are not the same charter schools that are accountable to the Milwaukee School Board. These charter schools are not part of this effort.
Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski has authored a resolution for a 5-year moratorium on any new City of Milwaukee charter schools. It’s a significant step in the right direction to start to turn back the Takeover of MPS. This resolution will be introduced at the Steering & Rules Committee hearing on Thursday, June 11th. We need to turn out a large crowd for this hearing, in order to begin the process of putting Milwaukee schools back in the hands of the people, and not unelected commissions!
Here is the contact information for members of the Steering & Rules Committee. Please contact them and tell them to support the Zielinski Moratorium Resolution.
Here is Zielinski’s Resolution:
A substitute ordinance relating to the chartering of schools by the city.
This ordinance establishes a 5-year moratorium during which the City of Milwaukee will grant no school charters to schools not currently chartered by the City.
Whereas, The granting of school charters, which are intended to provide innovative educational programs to help struggling students succeed, requires considerable expertise and an in-depth knowledge of the latest innovations in education; and
Whereas, While the City of Milwaukee relies upon the expertise of the Charter School Review Committee when granting school charters, the City itself has no direct expertise in education policy innovations and school operations; and
Whereas, Many of the schools chartered by the City are struggling and are either underperforming their public-school counterparts or are not performing significantly better than public schools; and
Whereas, The lagging performance of schools chartered by the City may suggest the City is not sufficiently knowledgeable about education policy and innovation to be the best judge of which school proposals are most likely to succeed and should be chartered by the City; now, therefore
The Mayor and Common Council of the City of Milwaukee do ordain as follows:
Part 1. Section 330-4 of the code is created to read:
330-4. Moratorium. 1. PURPOSE. The city recognizes that many of the schools chartered by the city are either under-performing the available public schools, or are not performing significantly better than public schools, and acknowledges this underperformance may indicate an inadequacy in the city’s school chartering process. The city further acknowledges, given the paramount role of education to the children of the community, that the most prudent action for the public good is to establish a moratorium on city-granted school charters to give the city time to evaluate its school chartering process before proceeding to grant any additional school charters.
2. Moratorium. A moratorium on the granting of school charters to schools not chartered by the city as of the effective date of this section [city clerk to insert date] is established commencing on the effective date of this section [city clerk to insert date] and terminating on the first business day following the fifth anniversary of the effective date [city clerk to insert date].
What: Steering & Rules Committee hearing on a 5-year moratorium on any new city of Milwaukee 2R charter schools.
When: Thursday, June 11th @ 1:30pm
Where: Milwaukee City Hall, Room 301-B
Facebook event page can be found here.