Ch. 220 number to be discussed again tonight

The Elmbrook School Board has another five page document on Chapter 220 enrollment to get through tonight.

The administration (meaning Superintendent Matt Gibson) is growing desperate for the board to make this action:

He wants to stop the bleed on Elmbrook enrollment and doesn’t mind picking up outside enrollment to fill those empty seats.

I’ll admit I’m impressed with how much effort the board is putting into this decision. Someone, though I haven’t been able to discern that person through these documents, is asking questions.

My question? Will the board follow through and stop the bleed on spending to accommodate the non resident enrollment – even if that means reversing a long held attachment to Chapter 220.

One other thing I noticed from this batch of numbers. Chapter 220 is not supposed to be about race. SCOTUS blasted the goal to integrate by race with a late June 2007 decision. Clearly Elmbrook continues to defy that ruling, as none of the 297 Chapter 220 students (shown here on page 5) are white. Not one.

Economic need my patootie. Elmbrook imports based on race. Period.


  1. Chapter 220 is all about racial integration, no doubt. A white child wouldn’t qualify to move from Milwaukee to a suburb, and a minority child wouldn’t qualify to move from a suburb to Milwaukee, as I understand it.

    Wisconsin’s plan is voluntary, whereas the other states (in the Supreme Court ruling) were assigning attendance. Wisconsin also offers open enrollment, so children excluded under 220 still have some cross-district options. I think that leaves us in a gray area with respect to the Court.

    As an aside, Dr. Algier seems to like things backed up with data.

  2. So there are NO white children in the MPS district that would be considered in economic need?

    The law states economic need. It’s obviously not the parameter being used!

    OK – change that. I’m wrong about the law stating economic need. Or at least I’m wrong until I find what made me think that. 🙂 Until then it looks like Wisconsin’s law is based entirely on race.

  3. Here’s an informational paper from the Legislative bureau on Chapter 220.

    Elmbrook is not legally required to participate in the Chapter 220 program.

  4. No, but unlike (?) some of the other districts, we are vulnerable to being sued again now that the agreement has expired—unless everyone is vulnerable again because the agreement expired. See page 10, second paragraph. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as you might say.

  5. Kathryn, I very much disagree with your threat of a lawsuit, particularly in light of the SCOTUS ruling. That’s the kind of threatening language the district would use!

  6. Sorry, I didn’t mean to threaten. I just see a few loose ends here–it could ravel any number of directions. There were three or four groups of school districts, all treated differently under the agreement. Some of them were dismissed from the original suit with prejudice, and some without prejudice; Elmbrook was in the “without” group.

    I’m inclined to think chapter 220, like so many things, will just peter out in the next several years because of funding conflicts. I also think we will see another round of school finance reform as small districts disappear and big ones like Milwaukee and Waukesha teeter.