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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes


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I'm probably in the minority here, but in this remarkable discussion, the one voice who seems to be making the most sense is Sheldon Lubar:


"Lubar: I don't want to be a lone dissenter, and I don't want to just pick this apart, but I do not believe that economic development is our No. 1 problem. . . .

We all want economic development. We all want to do away with poverty, which maybe is the most serious problem. In order to do that, you need an educated population.

You cannot reach the levels that I think all of you want to see us reach if you have a dropout rate of more than 50% of your high school students. . . . Nor can you do it if you have a college level of about 20%, which we have in Milwaukee County.

The first thing that has to be fixed is you have to instill in the people that live in this county a culture that puts a high value on education.

The second thing is we to take a look at our tax system and have a more sensible tax system.


Lubar: Jason, you're on the same page I'm on. I would love it if Mayor Barrett would request the governor, make a request and say, please, I want to take over the authority for running the public schools system so it isn't run for the teachers, and it isn't run for political reasons, and we do break it down into manageable systems, and delegate down to the principal. . . .

Something that I do believe is a solution, and I'm bringing this out for the first time . . . a Milwaukee metropolitan fiscal control board. A board that would have as its purpose the final approval of annual budgets of these entities: No. 1, the Milwaukee Public Schools. No. 2, MATC, or if this board didn't govern it, you could at least delegate it to the board of regents. They already make 30% or 35% more than the people at the University of Wisconsin who do have higher degrees.

The Milwaukee sewerage commission. The Wisconsin Center. The Miller Park stadium authority. . . . We've got to revise this whole governance system, and I don't think you'll find an elected person that will disagree."

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