Following is a letter posted yesterday by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele on the Kooyenga/Darling takeover plan for Milwaukee Public Schools.
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
CHRIS ABELE • COUNTY EXECUTIVE
For Immediate Release: DATE: May 11, 2015
CONTACT: Nate Holton, Director of Communications
414.278.5281 Office Nate.Holton@MilwaukeeCountyWI.gov
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele Statement on the Opportunity
Schools and Partnership Program Proposal
Providing the best K-12 education system for the community should be a priority for everyone who lives in Milwaukee. For the past 20 years, it has been a priority of mine as I have been actively involved in a variety of education policy efforts in Milwaukee. I have worked with every MPS Superintendent going back to Superintendent Andrekopoulos, I helped the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, on whose board I still sit, in partnering with over 35 MPS schools, I assisted in crafting the successful Race To The Top grant proposal that MPS was awarded, and I continue to be involved in Schools That Can Milwaukee, an organization that seeks to ensure that 20,000 Milwaukee students attend high-quality urban schools by 2020.
In all of these efforts, my goal has always been the best quality education for as many kids and their families as possible, delivered in the fairest, most sustainable way possible. While this legislation is not something I sought, when I was recently approached by Rep. Kooyenga and Sen. Darling asking if I would be the appointing authority, I told them that it was hard to have an opinion absent all of the details. But IF the bill passed that way, it’s a responsibility that I would accept and take very seriously.
Proponents of this legislation should know the following: I like and respect MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver and would want to work very closely with her; I remain very concerned about the funding flaw that the current voucher system continues to create for MPS; and I believe public money should be directed to open admission schools, not selective admission schools.
If placed in this position, I’m committed to work hard to take this proposal and ensure that its implementation is as successful as it can possibly be. The families in Milwaukee deserve no less.
MILWAUKEE COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 901 NORTH 9TH STREET, ROOM 306, MILWAUKEE, WI 53233
TELEPHONE (414) 278-4211 FAX (414) 223-1375 COUNTY.MILWAUKEE.GOV/COUNTYEXECUTIVE