As principal of Custer High School, Kathy Bonds often faces criticism for having one of the most notoriously rough schools in the city.
Many of her students live in poverty, return at night to homeless shelters, commit severe crimes or deal with a staggering number of mental, emotional and physical disabilities.
Look at the numbers, Bonds says: 30.8% of her students are classified as special education, a main reason that performance at her school continues to suffer.
The Milwaukee School Board appeared to agree with the spirit of that assessment last week when it voted to even out the distribution of special education students within the city’s high schools.
As part of the approved recommendation, the board directed the administration to immediately begin making sure all schools are equipped to serve a wide range of student needs. Members also directed the administration to establish a target range of special education students, and to help schools with very high or low special education populations come closer to that target range.