MPS Should be Ashamed of the Malcolm X Boondoggle

Taxpayers to Lose Money on Proposed Sale Just to Spite St. Marcus

October 17, 2013

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nick Novak, 608-237-7290

[Madison, Wisc…] From an outside observer, it looks like MPS is willing to spend millions of taxpayers’ dollars to prevent the expansion of a successful school choice program in Milwaukee.

While St. Marcus, a private Lutheran school in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, has expressed interest in purchasing the Malcolm X building from MPS multiple times, the city and school district refuse to even listen.

Now, MPS has decided to sell the school for $2.1 million to a brand new construction company. However, the district will pay rent for four years in a $4 million lump sum to that company.

Brett Healy, President of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, released the following statement regarding the proposed sale of the Malcolm X building:

“It is appalling that MPS would go this far to keep school choice from expanding in Milwaukee. This shady deal shows that the state’s largest school district cannot be a good steward of taxpayer money.

“Every budget cycle, MPS and its union bosses claim the sky will fall unless state government dramatically increases education funding. However, MPS is willing to waste more than $4 million to rent back space in a building it currently owns. I know to the educrats at MPS $4 million dollars is a mere pittance. But to the hardworking taxpayers outside of Milwaukee, outstate taxpayers who actually pay for the vast majority of MPS’ budget, this is a colossal waste.

“If this plan does go through, it will damage the creditability of MPS with state legislators during future budget debates. The MPS school board will be laughed out of the capitol next time they show up to ask for more funding.

“The Milwaukee Common Council cannot, in good faith, approve this sale. Let’s hope Mayor Barrett and Common Council President Willie Hines act like grown-ups and tell MPS no.”