Community stages walk-ins to protect public education in Milwaukee

Parents, students, educators, and community members held a pro-public education rally outside the building this morning before school. Following the rally, the staff walked-in to the building together to start the day (photo credit: Mike Erdmann).

Parents, students, educators, and community members held a pro-public education rally outside the building this morning before school. Following the rally, the staff walked-in to the building together to start the day (photo credit: Mike Erdmann).

MTEA members joined with hundreds of parents, students, and community supporters this morning in more than a dozen “walk-ins” at public schools across Milwaukee. Participants vowed to protect all of our schools from a public school takeover plan being advanced by Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield).

About a hundred people gathered at North Division High School for the walk-in and a brief program presented by the North Division Alumni Association. Reverend Willie Brisco, president of Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH) told the crowd: “We will not stand back and let you put your hands on our children’s future in this state. We have a rich history in this school, we have a rich history in this city, and we have a rich history as a people that stands up for right…Alberta Darling does not even travel these streets. She never sets foot in these schools. We know what’s right for our community, we know what’s right for this city, and the church will stand together and we will not be deterred.”

Over 100 showed up to North Division on Friday morning for a rally and walk-in in support of public education and against the Takeover of MPS (photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Over 100 showed up to North Division on Friday morning for a rally and walk-in in support of public education and against the Takeover of MPS (photo credit: Joe Brusky).

Walk-ins were organized at 53rd Street School, Audubon Middle School, Burbank, Congress, Fairview, Fernwood, Fratney, Grant, Hamilton, Humboldt Park, Kilbourn, Lowell, Neeskara, New School for Community Service, North Division, Pierce, Project Stay and Riverside. More walk-ins are planned for next week at several Montessori schools, Story School, and South Division.

Some of the MPS schools that held a "walk-in" on Friday in response to a proposal to take over MPS.

Some of the MPS schools that held a “walk-in” on Friday in response to a proposal to take over MPS.

Participants and passersby received flyers from Schools and Communities United explaining the problems with the takeover plan:

  • The takeover plan is part of a coordinated attack to destroy public education in our city and state.
  • Handing public schools over to privately run voucher or charter schools won’t help students – especially those with the greatest needs.
  • School takeovers create more inequality. Privately run charter and voucher schools serve fewer students with special needs and fewer English language learners.
  • Turning public schools into private schools does not guarantee better student outcomes. In Milwaukee, voucher schools have been around for 25 years, and they perform no better than public schools.
  • School takeovers eliminate family-supporting jobs and have contributed to economic decline in places like New Orleans, Memphis and Detroit.
  • Parents and community members want local control of our schools. We want schools to be accountable to the elected school board.
  • Changes in governance will not provide the needed resources or support that students need.

Public school supporters are invited to attend an informational meeting co-hosted by Parents for Public Schools-Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Schools on Monday, June 8 at 6pm at MPS Central Office, 5225 W. Vliet St.

Milwaukee Walks-In for Public Education from MTEA Union on Vimeo.

Additional photos from all 17 MPS schools can be found here.