Milwaukee School board to begin discussions on desegregating schools in southeastern Wisconsin

Annysa Johnson:

As issues of race, racism and structural inequities dominate the national consciousness, Milwaukee Public Schools board members are laying the groundwork for what they hope will be a new push to address the hyper segregation in southeastern Wisconsin.

The board unanimously passed a resolution last week calling on activists, elected officials and others to develop a regional plan to desegregate schools and reduce inequities among schools in the region.

While the plan would initially focus on schools, board members said it must also address the myriad factors that have created and maintained what is a white ring around a predominantly black and brown city — from housing and transportation to job creation and economic development.
MPS School Board member Bob Peterson.

“The purpose of this resolution is to really raise the ante, to publicly push school districts, municipalities, county boards to address how they’re going to help end Jim Crow in metro Milwaukee — the systematic, institutional racism that has been part of this region’s history since the first white people came and took the land from Native Americans,” said board member Bob Peterson, who proposed the resolution with board member Sequanna Taylor.

Madison has not addressed school boundaries for many years. The School Board approved the expansion of our least diverse schools, despite nearby available space.