Commentary On Charter School Climate And Madison’s Non Diverse Governance

Alan Borsuk

These reasons feed my thought that the forecast for creating independent charters outside Milwaukee isn’t strong, no matter what state law says.

Under Gary Bennett, the UW System charter office has moved carefully. It does not want to create angry politics around schools in Madison or elsewhere. With the exception of plans to open a special charter school for up to 15 teenage opioid addicts somewhere in Wisconsin, the first charter schools created by the UW office are unlikely to arrive before 2019, if any come at all.

What’s likely to be in the state budget for charters? Not much different than for any other schools — increases of about $200 per student in funding in each of the next two years. That would raise the per-student amount in 2018-’19 to a bit over $8,600, which is less than conventional public schools get.

And the Milwaukee scene, in broad strokes? Chartering by city government has pretty much come to a halt. The UWM charter list includes some very good schools, but the prospects for new charters are iffy.