Milwaukee Public Schools plan fall virtual classes

Annysa Johnson:

The Milwaukee Public Schools board on Thursday approved a $90 million plan to start the school year online and gradually return to the classroom once the threat of coronavirus has subsided.

Superintendent Keith Posley said the plan will remain fluid depending on how the pandemic unfolds over the coming months.

“We know students want to go back to school. Educators want to go back to school. Parents and families want their children back in school. But we have to be safe,” he said. “We can make up school hours for our students to make up their lessons. But we can’t bring a lost life back.”

The vote followed hours of testimony by parents, many of whom supported the plan and others who objected, saying they would have to choose between their jobs and their children’s education, and even threatening in some cases to pull their students out of the district if it went through with the plan.

Several were skeptical of MPS’ ability to provide quality instruction online, given its slow and inconsistent ramp-up of virtual learning when schools closed in spring.