Senate proposal could evict 3,500+ MPS students from schools, including some of the most successful

Proposal to strip local control over school facilities comes as MPS sees first enrollment increase in a decade

A new proposal discussed in Madison Wednesday could evict more than 3,500 Milwaukee Public Schools students from their current schools, some of which are among the most successful schools in the city.

Senate Bill 318 would force MPS and the city of Milwaukee to sell buildings, including ones the district is currently using to expand successful programs.

MPS would be forced to sell one of the buildings of its successful Golda Meir School, rated “Exceeds Expectations” on the recent state report cards.

The school expanded in 2012-13 into a once-unused former middle school property and is expanding to serve high school students for 2014-15.

Other affected schools include one of Milwaukee’s oldest high schools, North Division, which currently houses both a small charter high school and MPS’ new teacher educator center; the growing School of Career and Technical Education inside the former Custer site; Community High School, which is located in the Burroughs complex; and the brand new Universal Academy for the College Bound, which just opened this year and is growing one grade per year.

Another example is the new Carmen High School of Science and Technology – Northwest Campus, modeled after Carmen’s successful South Campus, which was ranked among the top 10 high schools in the state this year by U.S. News and World Report.

The discussion of Senate Bill 318 comes days after MPS submitted a fall enrollment count of 78,502 students, up from 78,461 last year.

This is the first enrollment increase for the district in a decade.

The proposal would also force the district to sell buildings it has plans for, including the former Dover, 88th Street, Hayes and Malcolm X school sites.

Discussions on converting the Dover site into housing for teachers or young professionals have been ongoing since March 2013 and the district is in negotiations for the sale of Malcolm X.

MPS has shared with lawmakers that it does currently have facilities that could be sold or transferred to the city for sale.