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Walker mulls state takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools

Gov. Scott Walker says Milwaukee Public Schools need to see improvement.

“Some 60 of the 70 plus schools that were failing in the stat were in Milwaukee," Walker said. "I think for the parents and the students in this city, it is a moral imperative that things get better.”

Walker says state law does allow the superintendent to add more state control over the failing districts.

"If the school board isn’t willing to take further action and get things under control, and if the superintendent isn’t willing to use the authority given to him by democrats in the past, when they were in the majority, then we have to look at other options.”

Marquette Professor Alan Borsuk, who has covered MPS for decades for the Journal Sentinal, says the last three governors have brought up either state or mayoral control of MPS, but it’s never gone anywhere.

““The idea of change is really popular, the actual change is really difficult," Borsuk said. "In short, it’s not so easy to unscramble the egg.”

Walker says he doesn’t have a specific plan right now, but he does think the district might be too big.

Borsuk says it would be a challenge to break into smaller districts.

"It would disrupt a dozen, if not a hundred schools. Who’s going to go where. You suddenly say, hey we’ve got 40 percent of our kids from the other side of town, and we’re not going to have them anymore. So think about what that does to an individual school, and then multiply that. ”

Walker said if he does develop a specific plan for MPS, he would let voters know before the November election.

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