Milwaukeeans will march Saturday, June 4, in recognition of the more than 80,000 Milwaukee Public School students who will lose math and reading programs, small-class sizes, nurses, arts programming, librarians and classroom teachers this September, when Gov. Scott Walker’s $1.6 billion cut to Wisconsin public schools takes effect.
Activists, parents, teachers and students begin the “Our Kids Count” march and rally at 11 a.m. at MacDowell Montessori, 17th and Highland Streets. The 2.5-mile march crosses the 16th Street Bridge. It ends with a rally at Forest Home Elementary, Forest Home and 15th streets, 1 p.m.
The honorable Vel Phillips and members of the NAACP Youth Council who marched during Milwaukee’s Open Housing Movement will lead the march with MICAH Pres. Rev. Willie Brisco and I Love My Public School founder Jasmine Alinder.
“I am marching to emphasize MICAH’s commitment to great community schools,” says Rev. Brisco. “We love our kids and we must support their public schools. We march as a coalition of churches, schools, social-justice groups, parents and teachers. Unity and joint effort is the only way to get on the right track and offer all our children access to the best education – so that not one of them is left behind.”
“Education is our civil rights issues,” says Alinder, whose daughter attends the district’s only two-way bilingual school. “Despite the impending passage of the state’s budget, we want our children to know that we will keep fighting for those rights because every child deserves access to an excellent public education and the opportunity for a bright future.”
Student musicians, athletes, and artists will perform – demonstrating the power of arts and extra-curricular programming and putting a face on the losses that are certain under Gov. Walker’s near-final budget cuts.
Officials from both parties have been invited to the march. Some attendees of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin State Convention will join the march as that convention draws to a close Saturday morning.
“Like many, I am marching because I believe that the success of our community and state depends on our commitment to providing the next generation with the same or better educational opportunities than what we enjoyed,” says State Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee).
Updates on the rally can be found at www.ilovemypublicschool.com, micah.org and on facebook – search “Civil Rights March for Public Education.” Brisco and Alinder will appear Wednesday, June 1, on “Evening Rush,” with Earl Ingram, 3-6 p.m. on WMCS 1290 News/Talk Radio.
“Our Kids Count” march and rally for public education is sponsored by MICAH, Wisconsin Citizen Action, I Love My Public School, Hands Across the Viaduct, Council for the Spanish Speaking, Milwaukee City Council PTA, Milwaukee Families for School Funding, and Voces de la Frontera.