by MCJ Staff
it didn’t come without opposition, the Milwaukee Public School Board voted Tuesday night to close, move and expand several schools within the district.
After countless public hearings and months of protest, the Board voted to close eleven MPS schools at the end of 2011-2012 school year. While some of the closures are from traditional MPS schools, others will come from contracts for charter schools either being mutually terminated or canceled, primarily due to poor student performance.
Despite parent protest, citing an adverse affect to the school’s special-needs students, 65th Street School will close, as will John Burroughs Middle School
Two schools that had the original recommendations to close were saved Tuesday night. In a unanimous vote, the board elected to keep George Washington Carver Academy open; the school will enter a one year limited enrollment phase before applying to become a charter school.
Similarly, the board voted against the recommendation to close the program at 68th Street Early Childhood School. The program, however, will be relocated at the end of the school.
Charter schools slated for closure at the end of the school year include: Wisconsin Career Academy, Montessori High School, SUPAR (School for Urban Planning and Architecture), and WORK (Where Opportunities Require Knowledge) Institute. The district will not renew contracts with these schools.
While the district elected to not renew several contracts with existing charter school, board members decided to convert several traditional schools into charter schools., including James Madison Academic Campus and the Milwaukee School of Entrepreneurship.
The board also approved renewing charter contracts with Carmen High School for five years, Alliance School for three years, and Community High School for two years.
After Tuesday’s board meeting, several successful programs are set to expand. Hamland Garland Elementary, Hayes Bilingual Elementary, McDowell Montessori, and Golda Meir School will all move into bigger buildings and greatly expand their programs. For some, the news of expansion of some schools offset the painful closures of others.
Board members quickly made decisions on the recommendations to allow parents affected by the change time to place their children for fall of 2012..