Two state lawmakers from Milwaukee have unveiled a bill to reform the Milwaukee Public Schools, and it differs in at least one crucial element from the proposal being pushed by the city’s mayor and the governor.

The proposal, dubbed RACE for Success, the Reforming and Advancing Children’s Education for Success Act, was unveiled Monday by Democrats, state Representative Tamara Grigsby and state Senator Spencer Coggs. Grigsby and Coggs propose the formation of a “partnership for success” composed of members of the school board, the Milwaukee Common Council, mayor and schools superintendent. The school board would maintain control over the MPS budget and school policy, but the mayor would be given the ability to control the property tax levy if the school board’s budget increased the property tax levy more than 8 percent.

The school board would also select the MPS superintendent, although the mayor would be allowed to interview the final three candidates and make a recommendation. The mayor could veto the board’s final selection, subject to override by a two-thirds vote of the board.

The plan from Grigsby and Coggs would give the mayor significantly less control than what’s been proposed by Mayor Tom Barrett and Governor Jim Doyle. The Race for Success plan “does not offer the clear and direct lines of accountability that I have been advocating” said a statement from Barrett. “There is no question that we must continue to strive for improved educational outcomes for our children. I will continue to work with members of the legislature as the education reform issues move forward.”

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