Wisconsin schools chief urges Scott Walker to veto education measures

Erin Richards:

Education issues have been some of the most controversial elements of the 2015-’17 state budget. The proposal calls for allowing much more public money to flow to private, mostly religious schools while keeping public school funding mostly flat. Public schools would see a modest increase in funding in the second year of the budget, but it’s under the rate of inflation.

Walker indicated in a radio address Thursday that the budget would lower property taxes and provide more money for K-12 education.

Some of the measures Evers is recommending Walker veto include:

■The Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program. That’s the Milwaukee “takeover” plan, which would allow Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele to appoint a person to oversee up to five failing Milwaukee public schools each year. The schools would answer to that individual, instead of the Milwaukee School Board, and would likely result in more independent, nonunion charter school management companies running the schools.

Advocates say it’s time for undertaking a dramatically different strategy to address performance at the underachieving schools. Critics argue for local control, saying the measure would take power away from the elected Milwaukee School Board to address and resolve issues.

“Every other district in the state enjoys that privilege — this proposal would rob the MPS community of that right,” Evers wrote, adding that authority to close or reorganize schools would be placed in the hands of a single individual who would not have to answer to the MPS community.

Rather ironic. The DPI presided over decades of mediocrity via the WKCE…