More than 100 people turned out to speak at a public hearing in Milwaukee on proposals to reform the city’s school system.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was among those testifying in support of legislation that would give his office control of the school system. Barrett says the measure is needed to provide accountability for the educational outcomes of MPS.
Opponents argued that mayoral control is not the answer. But state Representative Pedro Colon (D-Milwaukee) says it’s the only way to push through the changes that need to be made. He says the political influence of the mayor is needed to galvanize the attention required to fix problems within Milwaukee Public Schools.
Supporters of the legislation have been pushing for passage by the end of this month, arguing it’s a crucial part of the state’s Race to the Top application for federal education funding. However, a deep divide on the issue of mayoral control could prevent that from happening.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports
Audio provided by WUWM.