While Governor Jim Doyle says he’s not drawing a line in the sand on the issue, mayoral control of Milwaukee Public Schools is an important part of legislation he’s hoping lawmakers will act on early next year.
Doyle says there’s not much point in pushing for reform, if the state doesn’t do everything that’s needed to improve the school system. He says that includes creating a clear line of accountability for the performance of MPS, which should end with the mayor of Milwaukee
The bill has faced resistance from some Milwaukee-area lawmakers and Doyle’s recent call for a special session on the issue was not taken up by the Legislature. However, Doyle says the issue is moving forward with a hearing set for January 5th. He hopes the committee will move quickly on the bill and get it to a vote on the floor of the Senate and Assembly.
Alternatives to the plan would give the mayor some say over MPS, but leave control in the hands of the school board. Doyle says the bill he backs, which would have the mayor in charge of the schools, has broader support and should be the version to move forward.
Reforming MPS is seen as a crucial part of the state’s application for federal Race to the Top education funding.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:12)