Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel | Penfield pitches Montessori program for vacant MPS building

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel continues their coverage of the Milwaukee Public Schools vacant and underused schools issue. In a bid to “expand”, MPS asks City of Milwaukee to provide buildings, possibly in violation of state law.

MPS is exploring the possibility of a recreation and early childhood education center at the former Fletcher site and teacher housing at the Wisconsin Ave. building. It has also had talks with Penfield about its plan, spokesman Tony Tagliavia said.

The Department of City Development must now post the letters online to determine if there are other buyers. After 28 days, if there is only one buyer, it will negotiate suitable terms; if there are multiple buyers, it will seek requests for proposals, according to City Clerk Jim Owczarski. The City of Milwaukee is considered the owner of the buildings.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, a conservative public interest law firm that supports charter and voucher schools, said Tuesday that MPS would have to pay the city for all the buildings on its list. Giving them for free, it said, would violate both the spirit and letter of the law.

The Milwaukee city attorney’s office, which represents both the city and the school district, declined to opine on the institute’s assertion.

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