Join a Weekend of Art in Support of the Public Schools All Our Students Deserve

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The Milwaukee Art Build for Public Education is only 10 days away!

The beautiful images for posters, banners, signs, etc are being created by MPS art educators and other local artists.

We will needs lots of help to make all the work designed happen. Please consider getting other public education advocates to commit to helping. The work produced during this Feb. 3-6 weekend will help us keep public education per pupil funding requests and other anti-public education legislation that will certainly arise during the 2-year budget process in the media and on the minds of Wisconsin residents.

We will need help painting, stapling, tracing, coloring, cleaning, setting up, breaking down, etc. So as you can see this means we need help from people of every skill level.

Here’s how you can help!

Please sign up to join us the weekend of February 3 – 6 here.

Please print up these flyers and share them to help build turnout from your school, family, organization, etc.

Join us on Saturday or Sunday or both days to help us. We’re located in the upstairs of 735 E. Center St., which is above Company Brewing.

Tentative build schedule:

Saturday, February 4: 10am – 10pm
Sunday: February 5: 10am – 10pm

Handbill Flyer:

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Full Page Flyer:

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See you soon!

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Join the Milwaukee Art Build for Public Education!

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Photo of an art build in New York City before the People’s Climate March in 2014 (photo: Joe Brusky).

“We need teachers, we need books! We need the $ that Walker took!

Join us for a weekend of art in support of the fully funded public schools all our children deserve. We will be making banners, posters, and other pieces in preparation for the coming two-year Wisconsin state budget battle as we demand fair funding for Milwaukee Public School students.

Wisconsin Public Schools have seen a billion dollars cut since 2011, as well as a 2015 public takeover of MPS that was snuck into the last state budget and met fierce resistance and eventually was defeated. MPS students currently receive $1,000+ less per pupil in state funding when compared to their surrounding suburban colleagues. These massive disparities must be erased! We will stand for fair funding for our students and against state takeovers of our public schools. We will make sure our state politicians hear and see us in support of fair funding and treatment of ALL our students and with this art build we will be impossible to ignore.

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Photo from a 2016 art build in Milwaukee in support of the Day Without Latinos (Photo: Nicolas Lampert).

Join us on Saturday or Sunday or both days to help us. We’re located in the upstairs of 735 E. Center St., which is above Company Brewing.

Tentative build schedule:

Saturday, February 4: 10am – 10pm
Sunday: February 5: 10am – 10pm

Sign up for a time slot or join us the whole weekend!

Facebook Event Page is here.

#FundOurFuture.

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The Art Build space is just above Company Brewing. The Door to enter is on the far right (Photo: Nicolas Lampert).

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“Separate and Unequal,” 62 years later

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Written by: Jamaal Smith

On May 17, 1954, a landmark decision was made when the United State Supreme Court ruled state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students as unconstitutional. In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the Warren Court stated that “separate educational facilities were inherently unequal,” and violated the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. The Brown decision was pivotal in the fight for integration during the Civil Rights era. The expectation was that ALL children would have equal access to quality education and opportunity, which should be a fundamental right, regardless of race. However, 62 years since the historic “great equalizer” decision, black and brown students are again the targets of racial inequality within the educational system.

 

Emma Brown, columnist for The Washington Post, recently reported that, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, “the number of high-poverty schools serving primarily black and brown students more than doubled between 2001 and 2014.” This study is holding true in the state of Wisconsin, as GOP lawmakers have devised laws that continue supporting “separate and unequal” practices. One of those strategies was the elimination of the Chapter 220 program, which allowed for students of color from high-poverty neighborhoods to attend schools in predominantly white suburban school districts. In addition, two Republican legislators, State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), created the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program, a law intended to hand underfunded MPS schools to private, unaccountable operators. Cities like New Orleans and Detroit have been subjected to similar “Recovery Districts” with catastrophic results, but the commonality that exists between those cities and Milwaukee is that these laws are constantly imposed on black and brown communities without input. The OSPP legislation was passed in the middle of the night without a public hearing even taking place.

 

The OSPP legislation hands authority to a Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele with no college degree, who appointed Dr. Demond Means, Superintendent of the predominantly white Mequon-Thiensville School District, as the Commissioner over a predominately nonwhite district. Abele and Means created a proposal that claims MPS can still remain in tact even if one of the schools were moved under the OSPP district, which is inconsistent with the law. At a recent debate with MTEA Executive Director Lauren Baker at Marquette University, Rep. Kooyenga even stated that he was not a supporter of Dr. Means’ proposal because it counters what was written in the legislation. What is most disconcerting with Abele and Dr. Means is that they both admit the OSPP legislation is an unjust law, but insist the democratically elected school board of MPS should give up local control of their publicly-funded schools. Based on this rational, Civil Rights leaders should not have fought against the injustices within Jim Crow because they were law, right. Or the Black Codes, which brought about involuntary labor on freed slaves for minor “infractions” passed by southern states after the Civil War.

 

Just as it was not acceptable to comply with an unjust law then, the same ideology should exist on unjust laws now. An unjust law is no law at all!

 

We must continue the fight against modern day segregation and racial discrimination within our education system. Our children deserve our efforts to stand up for their future just as those before us stood for ours. Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” In the face of an obvious wrong, the time is now to stand and fight for what is right!

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Come and Learn About Community Schools

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Kyle Serrette, the Education Director for the Center for Popular Democracy will be presenting the national Community Schools model to the SASI School Board meeting at MPS Central Offices this Thursday, May 19 at 6:30pm. The authentic Community Schools model improves student outcomes by focusing on the whole child through six specific approaches. Bring a friend and learn more about how we continue to build authentic, public, community schools in MPS like those already started at Auer Avenue, Bradley Tech High School, James Madison Academic Campus and Hopkins Lloyd.