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Friday, September 4, 2009

 3:01 PM 

Moore: MPS eligible for 'Race to the Top' funds regardless of who's in charge

As the debate over who should govern Milwaukee Public Schools intensifies, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore wants to make sure the district's governance structure won't disqualify the city from millions in federal "Race to the Top" funding for schools.

The Milwaukee Democrat wrote a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan this week to clarify the city's standing under the program. Moore said that Mayor Tom Barrett and Gov. Jim Doyle -- both of whom support a mayoral takeover -- believe the proposed system is a prerequisite for Milwaukee to claim "Race to the Top" funding.

"Responding to my query regarding requirements for governance of school boards, you unequivocally stated that mayoral control of the school board is not a prerequisite to compete for Race to the Top funds," Moore wrote this week, referring to a meeting with Duncan in July.

She added that the funding was meant to tackle many of the systemic problems within MPS, which will continue in the near term regardless of who oversees the district.

Moore says she's seen no evidence to indicate that changing how MPS is governed will improve the district's performance, adding that she prefers a "comprehensive approach to tackling the obstacles facing MPS students."

Moore will join with MPS Board President Michael Bonds and other anti-takeover advocates Tuesday in a press conference at her Milwaukee office.


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