But it’s another year in which enrollment in the main body of MPS schools shrank. That carries long-term implications.
Every year for at least the past half-dozen, the percentage of Milwaukee kids who are getting publicly funded kindergarten through 12th-grade education through MPS has gone down a percentage point or two from the prior year. This year, it went down more than two points.
I wrote a story for this newspaper about seven years ago with a premise that at the time was very striking to me: A third of all Milwaukee kids getting publicly funded educations were doing so outside of the conventional public schools.
It was such a change from days not long ago when the answer was always that publicly funded education meant you went to the public schools.
Now, instead of 33%, the figure is an even more eye-catching 43%. The official figures for this fall show 56.9% of the 120,895 publicly funded students were in schools staffed by MPS teachers.
You can see the day looming (maybe four years? maybe five?) when that percentage is 50% or less.
Where are all the other kids? I use the term publicly funded because Milwaukee remains one of the nation’s biggest arenas for options in schooling. Parents can utilize public support to send kids lots of places.