By Bob Peterson (Published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 2, 2014)
There is an inherent link between strong public schools, healthy communities, and a vibrant democracy. In Milwaukee, all are endangered.
We cannot rebuild our Milwaukee Public Schools without rebuilding our neighborhoods.
Our public schools, in turn, are essential to that rebuilding. But only if we preserve our schools as democratic institutions connected to the community.
Long before the powers-that-be abandoned our public schools, they abandoned our communities. It is time to call a halt to the politics of abandonment.
For more than a quarter century, what has been the status quo in Milwaukee? Ignoring segregation. Standing by while job growth bypasses the city and is centered in the suburbs. Living in denial about the need for regional mass transit. Taking money away from public schools and funneling tax dollars into private voucher schools and privately run charter schools. The list could go on.