Milwaukee election shines national spotlight on state school takeovers

In this story from EdVotes.org, Félix Pérez highlights how the Milwaukee community is coming together to support their public schools, including political action activities such as working to help elect State Senator Chris Larson as County Executive.

Milwaukee parents, residents, educators, students and community groups are organized, vocal and persistent when it comes to derailing the effort by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his friends in the state legislature to take over their community schools. Just last week they staged more than a hundred school walk-ins; they have testified at hearings; they have coordinated multiple rallies, written letters, placed phone calls and collected petition signatures.

So last week’s outcome in the primary election for Milwaukee County Executive came as welcome news. Chris Larson, despite being outspent 20-1 and trailing incumbent Chris Abele by 13 points three weeks before the primary, advanced to the April 5 general election against Abele. Larson, who bested Abele by 708 votes out of more than 95,000 votes cast, opposes the state school takeover law. Abele, a multimillionaire who contributed $1.75 million to his campaign compared with slightly less than $100,000 raised by Larson, supports the law.

“The schools aren’t failing our communities. The leaders are failing our schools,” said Larson at a school walk-in the morning after his primary election victory. The takeover law, said Larson, is “designed to hurt our schools. It is not designed to try and make them succeed.”

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Milwaukee election shines national spotlight on state school takeovers

Tags: Chris Larson, community schools, state school takeovers by Félix Pérez; image: candidate Chris Larson addresses school walk-in participants Milwaukee parents, residents, educators, students and community groups are organized, vocal and persistent when it comes to derailing the effort by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his friends in the state legislature to take over their community schools.