There was a lot of head turning when District 4 school board candidate Aisha Carr’s campaign finance reports went public. Those statements revealed almost $4,000 in donations from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Manufacturers Association (MMAC), otherwise know as the Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce. The MMAC has been the push behind efforts to privatize Milwaukee Public Schools for years. On their website they advocate for public school resources to be siphoned off to fund unaccountable private charter and voucher programs. Carr has maintained she doesn’t support publicly financed private school vouchers and charters schools at recent candidate forums despite this significant chunk of MMAC campaign cash, but a recent piece in the Milwaukee Community Journal revealed otherwise.
In the article Carr has this to say about the MPS Takeover effort that was forced on the people of Milwaukee without any public input in the middle of the night as part of an Omnibus Budget bill in 2015:
By opposing that effort (MPS Takeover), the union and district was, in essence, turning their backs on the children, mostly black children. And they have done nothing since then to address the failure. That’s insulting.
So there you have it. Aisha Carr would have defied MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver, Board President Mark Sain and the popular grassroots movement built against the Takeover to stand with Republicans Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. Dale Kooyenga and their Takeover scheme. This privatization agenda is the same one being pushed now nationally by Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos. Carr has publicly stated she supports Superintendent Driver’s reform agenda, but Driver and Board President Sain stood with the community against the MPS Takeover. It turns out Carr has stood with Darling and Kooyenga all along. The article went on to say:
Among her priorities would be community outreach, engaging the community to have a more direct role and influence on the district and the board. Less than 10% of eligible voters participate in school board elections.
Now that’s a rich quote. Carr wants to get the community more involved by taking more MPS schools out of the democratic control of the community? How does that logic work? A state takeover of schools only reduces the community’s ability to have a say at the school board because private institutions are under zero obligation to provide a forum to listen to parents’ concerns. There is zero accountability in Carr’s preferred model. That’s why every community in Wisconsin has a tradition of democratically elected school boards, but the same people who support Carr don’t want democracy for Milwaukee’s majority minority population.
Carr said the board should also establish a working relationship with state lawmakers. Currently the relationship – if you can call it that – is best described as adversarial.
Yes, an “adversarial” relationship is what develops when your funding is cut by over a billion dollars. Why would Milwaukee want to go to the same Republican legislators who have robbed our children and our community and ask to work together? The real Aisha Carr has revealed herself clearly. Get out and vote for Annie Woodward for District 4! Annie stood strong with Superintendent Driver and Board President Sain against the MPS Takeover because they knew passing parents’ democratic control to private third party operators isn’t the way to improve public education in Milwaukee. Annie understands that we must stand strong in support of public education, continue to push for a robust expansion of public Community Schools, and close the current per pupil funding disparities MPS students face compared to their suburban counterparts.
Annie Woodward is the People’s Candidate for MPS School Board District 4!