What if we spend half a billion to attract new students and they don’t come?

That is apparently was one of the goals of the Milwaukee’s boondogle. If the Duluth School Board thinks their new schools will win back Edison students even if they win the November levy and don’t have to cut eleven million from the classroom, the Milwaukee example ought to give them pause.

From an online discussion in the Sentinel Journal:

Q: Joseph of Milwaukee – Dave, in your series the impact of choice and charter school programs on MPS performance was raised again. I know that studies so far have been somewhat inconclusive, but what is your personal opinion about how choice and charter programs have impacted MPS’ woes that you have written about?

A: Dave Umhoefer – Joseph: No one cares about my personal opinion, but I can tell you that in our reporting it was obvious that a lot of MPS officials believe choice and charter schools are getting a lot of the kids that used to go to MPS. I’m sure there are as many reasons for that as there are parents making the decision. What’s striking is that in some neighborhoods there are multiple schools right next to each other, all competing — using public tax dollars — for the same children. Competition is the idea, of course. But right now it’s a battle for children, and there are winners and losers and therefore empty classrooms. More schools will close, new choice and charter schools will open and some will close.

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