The Silence is Deafening

By Robert Miranda, Editor: Wisconsin Spanish Journal

October 12, 2015

St. Anthony’s is the largest private voucher school program in the country. The school is located on Milwaukee’s near south side where the majority of the city’s Hispanic population lives.

The Alderman of the district the school is in (12th Aldermanic district) is Jose G. Perez. The school is in the 8th Assembly district of JoCasta Zamarripa. 

The school is majority Latino students with half to most coming from families with questionable citizenship status.

Recently, the school has come under fire for canceling a contract it had with Liga Juvenile a soccer league with more than 900 children, mostly Hispanics taking part in the league’s sponsored games. The organizer of the league, Pablo García, told the Hispanic News Network (HNN-USA) that he “paid a total of $56,000 for using the St. Anthony H.S. indoor facility for six months and that three other leagues paid the same amount, totaling at least $224,000.” (http://ow.ly/T63xX)

Garcia says his league was left out in the cold by St. Anthony’s administration.

Now we are learning that in recent weeks, St. Anthony’s has fired dozens of workers because of their legal status, according to HNN-USA.

The report goes on to say that many of these workers were long time employees loyal to St. Anthony’s.

No comment from any of the Latino elected representatives has been made on the matter yet. In addition, the Spanish Journal has learned that the key leader of the immigrant rights group, Voces de la Frontera, has children attending the school, which could explain the reason why there are no protests or comments from the group regarding what is happening to the workers at St. Anthony’s.

In fact, several former St. Anthony’s workers, who requested to stay anonymous, stated that they approached Voces de la Frontera leaders and were dismissed by the group’s leaders after they complained about the actions by St. Anthony’s.

As usual, Voces de la Frontera did not return a request for comment on whether or not key leaders of the group have their children attending St. Anthony’s. Not that it matters in most cases, but if you’re leading a group that says publicly it is opposed to Walker’s private voucher school expansion, then it just looks a bit odd that your kids are attending a private voucher school. 

It can also explain why there is silence and a lack of outrage coming from this group towards St. Anthony’s.

Apartheid grows with each new private voucher school

Private voucher schools are intended to be an alternative to public schools. The Republican cohort pushing for private voucher schools believes that competition and breaking up public school monopoly in Wisconsin’s system of education, is worth the hundreds of millions of public dollars being shifted from public schools to fund private voucher schools.

Aside from the fact that private voucher school teachers do not have to meet high standards in teaching like their public school counterparts, and the fact that private voucher schools more often than not, fail to meet the highest standards of excellence that public schools provide, the biggest and most insidious thing private voucher schools has and now continues to achieve, is the segregation of children based on race.

The scourge of apartheid is growing under the umbrella of privatization. The legacy of the civil rights movement is being swallowed up by greed and racism. Private voucher schools growing in democratically controlled districts is shameful and an abomination. The corporate democrats of Milwaukee have betrayed the legacy of the civil rights movement. 

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on October 12, 2015

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