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Thursday, January 28, 2010

 7:06 PM 

Assembly closes out MPS special session

Without a bill ever coming to the floor, the Assembly voted today to close out a special session on governance change in Milwaukee Public Schools.

Gov. Jim Doyle, who supports mayoral control of the troubled district, called for a special session on Dec. 16 to take up a bill that would have given the mayor the power to appoint the district superintendent. But the special session call went unheeded as supporters and opponents of the bill tried to work out a compromise.

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, said in a statement today that there aren't enough votes to pass the bill.

He said statements from Education Secretary Arne Duncan that mayoral takeover is not necessary for Race to the Top funding and last week's hire of a new superintendent by the Milwaukee school board means "for now the mayoral takeover issue of Milwaukee Public Schools is over."

"I appreciate the intense debate, passion and focus on reforming and improving the Milwaukee Public Schools and want to thank Mayor Tom Barrett, Gov. Doyle and my colleagues for bringing this issue to the center of our attention in the Legislature," Pocan said.

"I believe this is the beginning -- not the end -- of discussion on educational issues in Milwaukee and other areas with growing poverty."

The special session on the bill in the Senate was continued until Tuesday. The bill, and legislation from Sen. Spencer Coggs and Rep. Tamara Grigsby that allows the school board to keep appointment authority of the district superintendent, remain in the Senate Education Committee.

Grigsby statement

Barrett statement


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