Full house at MPS meeting where fate of four schools debated

MILWAUKEE -- Nearly every seat was full Tuesday night during a Milwaukee Public Schools meeting regarding the future of several schools. The district has already made a number of cuts heading into this school year, and now the district says it's trying to be more efficient and effective with the facilities it has. Meanwhile, parents are concerned their child's school will be one of those on the chopping block.

Parents and teachers from Carver Academy on North 1st Street were fighting Tuesday night to keep the school open next year. Carver Academy is one of four schools the district is considering closing because of low academic performance and low enrollment. "You're not going to get higher performance by shoving kids around and throwing them in new buildings," Carver Academy teacher Tyler Kuhrmeier said.

Burroughs Middle School, 65th Street School and 68th Street School are the other three schools being considered for closing. MPS Superintendent says it's not about closing schools, but better use of the facilities at hand. "The key here is getting children better opportunities, and at the same time, being more efficient with the footprint in certain buildings that we have. Many of the facilities are not operating at full capacity. Some of our facilities get as low as 40 percent utilization," Superintendent Gregory Thornton said.

MPS says other schools, like Golda Mier are performing well. Golda Mier is one of five schools the district is thinking about relocating and expanding. Those expansions have drawn opposition from parents and teachers who say the schools are fine the way they are.

MPS has scheduled another public meeting for Thursday at 6:30 p.m., but these are just recommendations at this point. The full board will make final votes at a later date.