Release of New Study: Privatizing Struggling Schools Doesn’t Pay Off

A new report reveals that legislative moves to convert struggling public schools in Milwaukee into private charters ─ whether for-profit or non-profit ─ may actually damage the academic futures of far too many of the city’s children.

The report, “School Privatization and Online Learning: Assessing Proposals for Improving Education in Milwaukee,” was written by Professor Gordon Lafer in conjunction with the national think tank Economic Policy Institute.

A special briefing on this provocative study will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 24, in the ground floor rotunda of Milwaukee City Hall, 200 East Wells Street. We hope you will join Dr. Lafer and public school supporters from the area to hear about the growing private charter industry and its impact on Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and students.

There was a strong push by Wisconsin legislators in the last session to enact bills aimed at closing low-performing public schools and replacing them with less accountable, privately-run enterprises. Considering many of the unanswered questions, EPI commissioned Prof. Lafer to actually look at the results of these privatization efforts would have on MPS.

The report is an eye-opening investigation into the rapidly growing private charter industry, its impact nationally, and the effects profit motivated schools can have on the depth and quality of education children receive in Milwaukee and elsewhere.

We hope you will join us on April 24 at 11 a.m. for the release of this important study. The event will be held in the Milwaukee City Hall ground floor rotunda.

Prof. Lafer, a political economist at the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center, will talk about his findings followed by a response from education expert Dr. Alex Molnar and fourth ward Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman. A question and answer segment will follow.

The Institute for Wisconsin’s Future (IWF) is coordinating the Milwaukee release of the report. For more information, contact Gina Palazzari, IWF executive director, at 262–391–1449 or

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on April 21, 2014

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