A legislative leader says reform of Milwaukee schools is at a roadblock. Governor Jim Doyle’s State of the State address included a passionate call for mayoral control of the Milwaukee Public Schools, but state Senator Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Schofield) says there’s a problem. “It is a controversial issue, and the Milwaukee legislators themselves can’t come to an agreement,” said Decker at Wednesday’s WisPolitics luncheon in Madison. “And . . . I learned a lesson when I first came down here: you don’t cram something down someone’s throat in their district. In this case it’s Spencer Coggs, and I’ve been encouraging them to work to a compromise. I think most people in the Senate Democratic caucus would get on board, if there was compromise between the Milwaukee legislators.”

Decker said he’s not willing to broker such a compromise. “I live 180 miles from the Milwaukee school district. My kids didn’t go to school there, and I think that’s got to come from within the school district. I think right now the votes are not there.” While a number of Democratic lawmakers stood and applauded Doyle when he called for mayoral governance of MPS, Decker said he was not among them.

AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:50 MP3) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:50 MP3)

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