charter schools

Michelle Maternowski

The Milwaukee Public Schools system has been shrinking in terms of enrollment. Now, it could lose more buildings, too.

When a school closes, it goes on a list of vacant, or “surplus” properties.

Friday, the Common Council approved five interested entities who can buy those buildings. Not on the list: MPS.

Jabril Faraj / Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

The so-called recovery school district within Milwaukee Public Schools - the entity made up of a handful of struggling schools which the state put under the control of Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele - has gotten much of the attention and headlines in recent months. Abele recently appointed Mequon-Thiensville superintendent Demond Means as the part-time commissioner of the district.

But a less-heralded retreat on charter schools held by the MPS board could also usher in significant changes in the school climate here. 

Jabril Faraj / Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

The effort to create the so-called Milwaukee Excellence Charter School took a hit this past spring when the proposal was tabled after a split vote by the MPS School Board. However, it is expected that the plan will be going back in front of the board for further consideration soon.

Emory Maiden / Flickr

Two Republican lawmakers are working on a plan that would turn over control of several struggling Milwaukee Public Schools to an independent body.  Details of the plan by Representative Dale Kooyenga and Senator Alberta Darling emerged this week, though no bill has yet been introduced.

althouse

Charters are public schools operated by private businesses or non-profits. They operate independently and have greater flexibility than traditional public schools.

School Desks
Photos.com

Some Wisconsin lawmakers want to make it easier for successful charter schools to replicate themselves.

School Desks
Photos.com

Enrollment in MPS doesn’t just depend on how many students live in the district, but how many parents choose to send their kids to charter or voucher schools.

Milwaukee’s online Neighborhood News Service recently looked at how the number of schools chartered by MPS compares to the number of independent charter schools in the city. Reporter Edgar Mendez joins Lake Effect to share what he learned.