Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

November 27, 2013

Holiday Thoughts

Filed under: MPS — millerlf @ 8:25 pm

Larry Miller 11/27/2013

I wish a safe and joyous holiday to my friends, my allies and even my adversaries.

Over the last two weeks, I have been hearing the voices of many people in the MPS family. Other Board members have as well.

While I can speak only for myself, I believe this Board wants to find ways to have a meaningful conversation.

These are extremely challenging times. The attempts at MPS takeover continue. The MMAC leads this effort, along with allies in city government and in the state legislature. Having lost the attempted mayoral takeover in 2009 – 2010, they have used a piecemeal approach to try to dismantle MPS. The most recent example is the facilities legislation (Senate Bill 318) waiting to advance from committee.

The MMAC has also called for legislation to turn a large number of MPS schools into a “recovery school district.” It is my understanding that this legislation will move forward in January. The MMAC has lobbied publicly for both of these pieces of legislation. Behind the scenes, certain city officials and power brokers are also lobbying for both bills.

These are examples of the constant threat that the MPS Board of Directors must fend off. The recent success we had in stopping the takeover by a private school of the Malcolm X facility was the result of many community organizations, allies in the Common Council and the MPS community coming together for what is right. But there is no time to celebrate. There is too much at stake and too many issues to solve.

MPS teachers, administrators and all staff have been the backbone of the fight for public education in Milwaukee. The Walker administration’s attacks on collective bargaining and scapegoating of teachers and other public employees are unconscionable. Teachers not only deserve to have a voice at work – their voices are critical to setting the best direction for our children.

I am committed to doing everything in my power to make sure those voices are heard.  I believe that my colleagues on the Board share this commitment.

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