Op Ed

Say Yes To MPS Referendum

As a parent and longtime MPS volunteer, I’ve seen why the schools are a great investment.

By - Dec 5th, 2019 01:22 pm
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Rufus King International High School. Photo from MPS.

Rufus King International High School. Photo from MPS.

When I see a line item on our property taxes for MPS, I see my daughter. I see investment in the future of our community. I see possibilities, dreams, hopes and fears.

I see teachers that are scrappy and spend their own money trying to bring the lessons to their students that they need, but the district cannot afford. I see administrations trying to figure out how to get more and more out of their budgets with less and less. I see the lack of funds hurting our students the most.

I have volunteered in MPS schools for 13 years as well as reinvigorated and ran an MPS afterschool camp. I have seen it all and still I fight for my child. I fight for the future of all Milwaukee Public School Students.

I have seen what investment in our children can do. Music, theater, song and dance can spark the imaginations of our youth. I met a student in 7th grade when I volunteered and taught an acting class at her MPS school. Theater became a passion for her because of that class. She is now a playwright and a confident and successful actor in college.

What would have happened had theater not been a part of her world? While a handful of our schools have outstanding arts programs, there are many more that do not have the funding to offer these types of programs. This is wrong. All of our students in all of our public schools deserve to have life changing arts programs. What if this were the case? What a wonderful City we would live in then!

Did you know that children can improve their math and reading skills if they are involved in the arts? Do you know that creativity can spark leaders, inventions, cures and innovation? Did you know that band, choir and theater are the reasons that many students graduate from high school, including me? Without them I would have probably lost my way and dropped out. Imagine how we could change the trajectory of our district with investment.

How can we as a city see our public schools from a different perspective? What would it take for us all to be curious enough to get involved in helping improve MPS?

This isn’t someone else’s problem. This is our opportunity and responsibility to our community. This is ours to work on, improve and support. Without it we will surely continue to struggle, because without creative thinkers, we have no art, no entertainment, no progress.

This is our call to action. Please join me in supporting our public schools. Please join me in calling for a local referendum that will make an impact in our students’ lives at a level that our community can afford. Our children need us. Let’s come from a place of giving, hope and abundance, rather than negativity and fear. MPS sparks joy. We can all make that our students’ reality. Invest in MPS. Say yes to our students.

Julie Rowley is a MPS parent.

More about the Proposed MPS Referendum

Categories: Education, Op-Ed, Politics

One thought on “Op Ed: Say Yes To MPS Referendum”

  1. sbaldwin001 says:

    MPS students certainly deserve all of these things, but the question is whether MPS deserves additional funding. More and more data is showing that private and charter schools are outperforming MPS using the same (or lower) financial resources. This competition is good, and I truly hope it sparks improvement.

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