Senate bill would force MPS to sell vacant or underused schools

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by Matt Doyle

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Public Schools react to a proposed bill that would force the district to sell it's vacant and underused buildings. The school district claims the bill could affect 3,500 students attending those underused schools.

"This is their home," Shannon Sloan-Spice said. She has a daugther at Golda Meir School in Milwaukee.  It's a high-performer in the district, but also one that fits the state's criteria to be sold.

"I think the parents as well as the kids would feel displaced."

Republican State Senator Alberta Darling says she's met with district leaders before, and this is the first time the district has expressed concern for displacing kids. "I am more than willing to sit down with them and work on a solution, which will keep taxpayers from unnecessary expenses, and improve educational opportunities where they are needed most," says Darling.

MPS says the Golda Meir School is slowly expanding.

"It's at less than 40 percent capacity because we're actually using the building across the street to grow our middle school and high school," Denise Callaway with MPS said.  "Here we have a program, a school that's highly successful."

MPS has tried to sell buildings in the past, but haven't had any luck. Some buyers have come forwards for a few building like Malcom X School, but the district wouldn't sell it saying they have plans for it.

The district also argues a bill like this infringes on local control. 

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