By Larry Miller
Those who want to blow up Milwaukee Public Schools are getting help. Whether supporting mayoral control, “a voucher in every backpack”, privatization through chartering or the creation of two school systems – one for high-performing schools leaving the rest as “depositories” or a special-ed track – the governor’s budget legislation brings you closer to getting your wish.
As MPS school Board President Michael Bonds recently stated in an interview, “It’s untenable. We keep cutting and cutting but at some point there won’t be anything left to cut.”
With the proposed budget MPS will lose over $12 million in the next academic year just from the loss of the $150 per student “categorical” funding. This is on top of the inflationary costs of $11 million to continue operating next year. This leaves a $23 million hole in the fall. This is on top of the $84 million in aid MPS lost with Walker’s first budget.
This budget will intensify the challenge to further lower class size, expand art, music, physical education and library services, increase early childhood programs, strengthen professional development, provide enrichment programs and maintaining the wealth of partnerships that are offered through MPS to all Milwaukee children.
This encroachment on public education is a crime against Wisconsin and Milwaukee children.This budget does not take into account 80,000 MPS students.
Instead of moving to dismantle public education we should be working to make Wisconsin the education state.