Milwaukee’s neighborhood schools’ troubles go unaddressed

Dave Umhoefer:

A slight improvement in enrollment this fall – equal to about one student per building – is about all that has changed for 25 schools that were at the heart of a troubled $102 million construction program for Milwaukee Public Schools.
Officials have taken no major steps to change the situation at schools where enrollment is far below the goals set when the Neighborhood Schools Initiative was launched in 2000. A series of stories in the Journal Sentinel in August described how millions of dollars of building projects had brought little visible gain.
The lack of action has at least one School Board member unhappy.
“I see waste in the district, but no one wants to cut,” said Michael Bonds, chair of the board’s finance committee. “We have to reduce the number of buildings we have. It’s almost a mockery.”
No serious proposals related to the neighborhood project have been discussed publicly this fall to close schools or take other steps aimed at getting more bang from the $102 million.