Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says President Barack Obama’s visit to Wisconsin sent a strong message about education reform. Asked if he and President Obama discussed the most controversial of proposed reforms – mayor takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools – Barrett said no. “We didn’t talk specifically about that,” the mayor said. “I think the mere fact that he’s here in Wisconsin, he knows, the secretary of education knows, that this debate is going on. He wouldn’t be here if he wanted to stay away from that debate.”
There’s still plenty of opposition to the takeover plan among members of Milwaukee’s legislative delegation in Madison. “I think there are some who are adamantly opposed, some who want to see some changes who are committed to having some sort of elected representation on the school board, and then there are others who are embracing what we’re trying to do, which is the fundamental reform which is good for our children,” Barrett said.
Barrett believes mayoral control will be key factor in Wisconsin’s application for federal Race To The Top funds, which the President promoted Wednesday in Madison. And did the mayor speak with the President, about a possible run for governor? Barrett said no, and he’s still considering his options.