Will MPS implode?

Guess what. We’ve talked about it before and the issue of crossing district lines is front and center. The exit of students from Milwaukee’s district to ours is in fact diminishing MPS’ chance for survival. There’s talk that MPS will petition the legislature to undo Chapter 220 and Open Enrollment.

Here are the numbers from the MJS article:

At the same time, participation in the private school voucher program may exceed 20,000 next year, MPS officials projected. That compares to about 6,000 students 10 years ago.

But the voucher growth is not the only aspect of the changing face of Milwaukee education. MPS officials forecast that the number of students living in the city who will use the state’s open enrollment law to attend suburban public schools will be 4,196 in the coming school year. A decade ago it was zero.

The number of students enrolled in alternative schools and charter schools that contract with the Milwaukee School Board but are not staffed by MPS employees will total 6,255, an increase of more than 60% from a decade ago.

And more than 5,000 students are attending publicly funded schools in the city chartered outside MPS – by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee or Milwaukee city government. A decade ago, that number was also zero.


  1. What has yet to be addressed by our own district is the legality of continuing our involvement in Chapter 220.

  2. Don’t y’all remember me saying this for years now? Now the shiest is hitting the fan.

  3. Not so fast, Dan. Libby has a point. Elmbrook has purposely ignored the SCOTUS ruling.

    Getting kids back in the borders can be initiated from either side. I strongly believe that it needs to happen, though. And the sooner the students are back in the district, the better for MPS.

    I also think the health of MPS is vital to the urban and therefore suburban community. We can’t pin Milwaukee’s hopes on an up and coming baseball team…there needs to be solid resources to back up the community.

  4. I’ve been arguing that for years too, Cindy!

  5. Dan –
    I did not communicate my point very well. Sorry. What I was trying to say is that by ignoring the Supreme Court ruling, we are potentially at risk for a law suit – by knowingly participating in a program that has been deemed racially based. It is not about keeping non-resident students out…they can still attend our district through the Open Enrollment program (which is different than Chapter 220.) The ramifications of such a suit could be devastating.

  6. If we stop open enrollment, this won’t happen.


  7. I’m supposed to be looking into the number of arrests and whether or not those students are non-resident.

    I wish like heck someone from the “real press” would handle this one. I know I’m going to have trouble getting the info I need.

  8. The “this” I refer to is an open enrollment student doing the selling….nothing else. Don’t read between MY lines!

  9. Dan, to your initial comment… As I recall from an MJS article and chart a while back, Wauwatosa and Elmbrook had the highest count and percentage of non-resident studies. If those districts would release a count of incoming per zipcode you’d have some location figures to look at.

  10. studies? Naw, I meant students!