March 5, 2010

 

Response to the Race for the Top Announcement

Taylor emphasizes yesterday’s announcement is not the end of MPS reform legislation

MADISON - State Senator Lena Taylor (D‐Milwaukee) expressed great disappointment after hearing President Obama’s announcement that Wisconsin would not be among the 16 finalists bidding for Federal Race to the Top funding.

“I am extremely saddened and disappointed that Wisconsin will not be one of the first states to participate in the Race to the Top Program,” Taylor commented. “As a mother of a school‐aged son in the Milwaukee Public School system, my heart hurts for each and every child in the State of Wisconsin, especially those in Milwaukee Public School system, who would have greatly benefited from the Federal funds.”

The U.S. Department of Education released the list of first‐round Race to the Top finalists Thursday. Colorado, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and South Carolina made the cut. If chosen, the Milwaukee Public School system could have received between $ 5 to $ 10 million dollars in federal grant money.

While the legislature plans to gavel out of special session, Taylor emphasized that this was not the end of the struggle for educational reform in the Milwaukee Public School system.

“We have done a great deal of work to bring reform to Milwaukee Public schools, and we still have a long road ahead of us. Yesterday’s announcement will not deter me from my goal of bringing quality education to our children. Despite the fact that the special session will be adjourning, I and other members of the Wisconsin legislature are actively working on compromises to the MPS reform bill. I assure you that progress is still being

made, and I am open to compromise. This is not the time to give up, especially when the majority of our High School children are not proficient in math and reading. We owe this to our children,” Taylor passionately remarked.