In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.–Mark Twain
The “goody bags” may have been the tipping point.
In August, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation highlighted massive waste and failure in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS): after spending more than a $100 million on neighborhood schools, the paper reported, many of the new buildings were unused and the classrooms empty. “With a few exceptions” the paper reported, “student achievement has shown little improvement–and in some cases it has fallen dramatically–at 22 schools that were among the largest beneficiaries of the district’s school construction program.”
But it was the bags that caught the public’s attention.
A week after the series on the failed building project, columnist Dan Bice reported that Milwaukee School Board member Charlene Hardin, accompanied by a high school data-processing secretary, had junketed at taxpayer expense to Philadelphia in mid-July, ostensibly to attend a conference on school safety. But organizers of the conference said that Hardin never showed up for any of the conference itself.