Bill gives Milwaukee Mayor Barrett mega power over schools

Larry Sandler & Erin Richards:

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett would have more power over the Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent and budget than nearly any other U.S. mayor holds over a big-city school system, under a bill the Legislature is to consider Wednesday.
“If they go ahead with the present plan, it will make for one of the most powerful education mayors in the country,” said Joe Viteritti, a professor of public policy at Hunter College who led a commission to study mayoral control in New York City and has edited a book, “When Mayors Take Charge.”
The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), would allow the mayor to appoint the superintendent without confirmation by the School Board or Common Council, and would let the superintendent set the school budget and tax levy without a vote by the board or council.
Elected School Board members – who now select the superintendent and approve the budget – would be limited to an advisory role on the budget and would control only such functions as student discipline, community outreach and adult recreation.