Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Join Common Council in Passing Resolution Opposing MPS Takeover

On a decisive 14-2 vote, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors joined the Milwaukee Common Council in their opposition to the Takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools!

Thank you to Supervisor Khalif Rainey for bringing the resolution forward!


Opposing the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program proposal pending in the Wisconsin Legislature

WHEREAS, the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program (OSPP) proposal pending in the Wisconsin Legislature creates an unelected commissioner, chosen and supervised by the Milwaukee County Executive, who will have the authority to privatize up to five struggling Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) each year; and

WHEREAS, the OSPP disenfranchises Milwaukee County voters, particularly in the City of Milwaukee, by removing schools from the oversight of the peoples’ elected school boards; and

WHEREAS, turning over struggling public schools to charter operators or private voucher schools does not address the significant factors that contribute to failing schools, such as concentrated poverty, joblessness, violent crime, and declining economic and social health; and

WHEREAS, the OSPP is financed with per pupil payments that would typically go to support MPS, leaving less money available for already under-funded public schools; and

WHEREAS, the use of Milwaukee County Corporation Counsel as the legal adviser and attorney for the Commissioner and the OSPP raises questions of liability and cost for Milwaukee County; and

WHEREAS, the City of Milwaukee overwhelmingly adopted a resolution on June 21, 2015, opposing the OSPP proposal in its entirety; and

WHEREAS, Milwaukee County supports the City of Milwaukee’s opposition to the OSPP proposal and opposes the OSPP proposal on similar grounds set forth in this resolution; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, Milwaukee County joins the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee in opposing all provisions of the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program pending in the State Legislature; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that upon adoption, the Milwaukee County Clerk is authorized to forward copies of this resolution to members of the State Legislature and to the Governor.

Milwaukee Common Council Formally Denounces MPS Takeover; Reins In City Charters

Milwaukee city leaders made it clear on Tuesday morning that they are unanimously opposed to a Takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools. They also took some positive steps towards greater transparency and accountability towards city charter schools with checkered track records that have recently come to light thanks to the efforts of Schools and Communities United.

Here are the motions the City Council passed unanimously (Coggs and Donovan absent):

1.  Alderman Zielinski’s resolution opposing the Darling-Kooyenga plan to take over MPS schools and conveying that opposition to Milwaukee’s delegation in the Legislature.
2.  Alderman Kovac’s ordinance requiring the Charter School Review Committee (CSRC) to include impacts upon MPS in their periodic assessments of each City charter school.
A substitute ordinance relating to the criteria for the chartering of schools.
This ordinance requires the charter school review committee to include with committee findings transmitted to the city clerk an assessment of how the operation of school once chartered will affect the resources available to students served by the Milwaukee public school system under the applicable state funding formula.
3.  Ald. Kovac and Pres. Murphy’s ordinance assigning the City Clerk’s staff to the CSRC – duties previously done by Howard Fuller’s Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette.
4.  An amendment to the City’s broadcast schedule, sponsored by Murphy, Kovac, and Ald. Bohl, placing the Charter School Review Committee on the list of groups whose meetings are to be videoed.  This is significant because it provides a record of the debate and what decisions are made, increasing transparency.