From: I Love My Public Schools
For Immediate Release – Friday, March 15
Contact: Angela McManaman, 414‐793‐4815
MILWAUKEE – Parents in Milwaukee Public Schools today are praising a bold initiative undertaken by the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association (MTEA) to invest more resources in district classrooms and help Milwaukee’s children. “Good things are happening in MPS,” adds Tanya Ingvolstad‐Otero, an MPS alumna and mother of four bilingual MPS students. “MPS has excellent teachers who succeed against all odds. I stand with the teachers today just as they stand every day with my children and all of Milwaukee’s children.”
“I know how hard our teachers work every day to meet the needs of our children,” says Jasmine Alinder, an MPS parent who co‐founded I Love My Public School, a parent‐led advocacy group for public education. “They deserve nothing but respect and praise. That they would even consider making a contribution to help offset the devastating cuts from the Walker administration shows who is truly on the side of Milwaukee’s children. The Governor has turned his back on our children in Milwaukee, but Milwaukee’s teachers are stepping up to the plate.”
Other parents in Milwaukee Public Schools amplified their support of MTEA leadership, MPS Superintendent Greg Thornton, and the district’s Board of Directors after the coalition negotiated with the Legislature for an immediate and structured reopening of MTEA contracts – a move that could keep more dollars and teachers in MPS’ budget‐battered classrooms. This request comes the same year that Wisconsin public schools deal with the largest cut to public education in state history and one of the largest education cuts in the nation.
“We are proud of the hard work our teachers and administrators do in our kids’ MPS classrooms,” say Michael Bannister and Laura Matthew, parents of two MPS students. “They continue t o d o the best they can despite how much harder their jobs have become over the past year. We are grateful that they have initiated difficult conversations about what is right for everyone, and most especially for students. We applaud their, the school board’s, and the district administration’s latest efforts to keep as much money in the classrooms as possible next year.”
Parents are asking politicians, labor leaders, and others to respect the integrity of the MTEA negotiation process as the wider MTEA membership considers more concessions.
“The best way to solve our education and budget problems is by working together,” says Angela McManaman, a public worker and MPS parent of three. “By re‐opening MTEA contracts, the Legislature admits that collective bargaining works for our kids and shows us a path forward. By working together, MPS leadership and the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association are setting a powerful example.”
“We need to fix the education funding system and re‐invest in our children,” says Alinder. “The rest of us in Milwaukee, parents, community leaders, and the business owners, need to follow MTEA’s lead and find ways to support our schools now. It’s time to recognize that a cooperative posture is necessary to fix our state’s school funding formula, and our state’s politics. In our view, that includes fully restoring collective bargaining for all public workers.”
MTEA membership will have 30 days to consider and approve self‐imposed reductions in pay or fringe benefits without violating other terms of their contract.