Milwaukee Board of School Directors President Dr. Michael Bonds and Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver issued the following statement regarding Joint Finance Committee action on the state budget:
"Over the past week, many Milwaukee community members have expressed concern about the plan to create a 'turnaround district' by carving out some of the lowest performing schools in MPS. They were right to be uneasy.
"The plan passed by the Joint Finance Committee undermines the promise of public education across Wisconsin. It increases the number of schools with no accountability to taxpayers, making true transparency more difficult.
"The so-called 'turnaround plan' forced on Milwaukee Public Schools is not a plan to improve academic outcomes for students; its focus is on finding ways to put public school buildings into the hands of charter and voucher schools. It will not improve achievement – these plans have not in other communities – and will further fracture and disrupt Milwaukee's educational ecosystem. This plan targets struggling schools rather than seeking ways to support them.
"MPS repeatedly met with legislators in a sincere effort to reach agreement that would have avoided the chaos this plan would cause. We shared on numerous occasions the success we are seeing and our plans to further improve student achievement. It is unfortunate the legislature did not apparently consider these factors.
"We will remain focused on what matters most – continuing our efforts and reforms that are improving achievement for students in Milwaukee Public Schools. We are appreciative of our students, families and staff who have remained dedicated to making sure our young people continue their hard work through the end of the school year. We also want to thank the many partners who support our efforts to improve the lives and education of young people and who have pledged their continued support.
"To all of those who care about public education, please continue to voice your concern. We look forward to our continued efforts to raise expectations and outcomes for our students."