ON-Lion Letter
In mid-July, the City of Milwaukee Common Council's Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee voted to significantly limit parents' educational choices in Milwaukee by approving a proposed ordinance that requires large amounts of play space to be set aside for any new school, a difficult task in an urban setting.  Some of the city's highest-performing schools serving low-income children would not have been able to open or expand had this ordinance been in place at the time.

The proposed ordinance passed the committee with less than 24 hours notice, without giving the public ample time to review and comment on it.  The full Common Council is expected to vote on the proposed ordinance later in July.

"In a time when students in Milwaukee perform significantly below their peers academically, the committee chose to require new schools to direct dollars to playgrounds, not classrooms," according to Jim Bender, president of School Choice Wisconsin.  "The goal of this policy is to restrict education reform in Milwaukee, not improve education."

"I don't believe for a moment that anybody on that committee is terribly concerned about a lack of playground space in schools," said Kyle Olson, publisher of EAGnews.org, the flagship website of the Education Action Group Foundation.  "These officials are working with the education establishment to block the construction of better schools that will attract kids away from" the Milwaukee Public Schools system.  "It's a disgusting proposal that once again puts the desires of adults before the needs of children."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports both School Choice Wisconsin and the Education Action Group Foundation.
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