Proposed law to compel Milwaukee to sell vacant school buildings
MILWAUKEE -- Two republican state lawmakers are proposing legislation that would "compel" the City of Milwaukee to step in and sell vacant public school buildings.
"Some of these buildings are completely vacant but they may have a desk and a file cabinet in them and one day out of the year somebody goes and holds a meeting there or something and then, technically they can say the building is in use," said State Representative Joe Sanfelippo.
State Senator Alberta Darling is also working on the bill. Sanfelippo said it would provide stricter definitions on when a building has to be sold, define what is a vacant building and the city would have to go out, solicit bids and accept bids for the vacant properties.
"There's no secret MPS is worried about the charter schools and private voucher schools cutting into their enrollment and so they don't want to do anything that they perceive is going to take more kids away," he said.
However, a representative with MPS tells CBS 58 they've leased eleven buildings to charter schools and sold four buildings to Milwaukee College Prep, Hmong American Peace Academy and the Jackie Robinson Senior Housing Center.
Another eleven schools are being reused to expand or grow successful or in demand programs.
Sanfelippo said they expect to formally introduce their bill next week and if it becomes law it would go into effect early next year.