Wisconsin’s senior U.S. senator honored with medal as a champion for children
The Milwaukee Board of School Directors and Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton honored MPS graduate and retiring Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl Friday as a champion for children and their education.
“Senator Kohl has stood up for each and every child in Milwaukee,” Dr. Thornton said. “He’s done it for the children. He’s spent his time in office helping improve the lives of students in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and across the country.”
Kohl authored the legislation that expanded the school breakfast program, he helped fund strong after-school programs and he sponsored legislation that strengthened child support enforcement.
Just as he’s worked to protect children and improve their lives in his public role, the senator’s private philanthropy has also helped ensure students reach their full potential. The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Achievement Award program provides $400,000 in grants for Wisconsin high school seniors, teachers and schools each year.
As the superintendent presented a medal to the state’s senior senator, Dr. Thornton recalled that Sen. Kohl was among the first people to call when the superintendent was named to his post in 2010.
The senator has been a strong ally in the ongoing effort to improve Milwaukee Public Schools, Dr. Thornton said, helping connect the district with resources in Washington that improve the lives of Milwaukee’s children.
The superintendent said he’s honored to call Sen. Kohl a friend – and a friend to the district.
Sen. Kohl is stepping down after serving four six-year terms in the U.S. Senate. He was first elected in 1988.
Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving 80,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. U.S. News and World Report named MPS’ Rufus King International School and Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School the two best high schools in the state and among the 200 best in the country in 2012. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 17 points higher than the rate for 2000, growing math standardized test scores representing 10-point growth in the last six years and growing ACT scores.