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Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008

MMAC Had No Part in MPS NSI

Tim Sheehy, President of MMAC

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The opinion piece penned by Joel McNally “Secret Plans for MPS” was long on speculation and short on any real facts, and unfortunately full of race baiting. Specifically, MMAC, the organization I represent responded to the MPS request to help them pass legislation authorizing a Neighborhood Schools Initiative that would have put money into schools in neighborhoods where there were more kids than capacity, we thought the idea merited support, more money for school capacity in neighborhoods that needed it, and less spent on transportation (which adds little to the value of education).

We had no part in designing the NSI schools plan. The facts following the passage of NSI, including ignoring parent’s interest in busing for safety reasons, in some cases a poor use of the funds, and the failure to close other schools to bring school capacity in line with MPS enrollment are not faults of the legislation we supported but the execution. Parents choosing other schools in these neighborhoods, is well, just want parents should be doing, looking for the best schools. It’s a shame to see this portrayed “as rich white guys” with a nefarious agenda. Our goal remains the same, more high-performing schools that give all our kids the best chance for a solid education-call it enlightened self interest.

Tim Sheehy

President

Metropolitan Milwaukee Assn. of Commerce