February 11, 2016 

Statement from Senator Chris Larson on the MPS Takeover Repeal Act

Madison – Senator Chris Larson issued the following statement regarding the circulation of the MPS Takeover Repeal Act, LRB-4535. This proposed legislation would repeal the MPS Takeover plan that was created under the most recent state budget.

“Local control is at the bedrock of Wisconsin's educational system. Our neighbors elect local school boards who are entrusted with the management and success of their districts. Our local elected school boards were set up in such a way to encourage community input and to give a voice to those benefiting from our public schools.

“Though the need to address struggling public schools is urgent and real, the creation of the MPS Takeover was a thinly veiled attempt to orchestrate a complete seizure of certain schools in our communities. Many of these schools are in neighborhoods where families struggle with unemployment, poverty, gun violence, and high infant mortality. Republicans have failed to invest in the services these kids and their families desperately need and neglected programing that is proven to be beneficial in struggling school districts.

“As a result of the last Republican budget, local control of our public schools has been eroded and the authority and power of our democratically elected school board has been greatly diminished, leaving our neighbors without a voice in the affairs of their neighborhood schools.

“The bill I have sent around for co-sponsorship today fully repeals the Republican MPS power grab and restores the voice of our neighbors.

“The answer to underperforming public schools in Milwaukee is not to take control away from the community, but to empower them in every way possible to ensure the success of our children.”