Council members target enrollment incentives offered by charter schools
News release from Alds. Nik Kovac and Michael J. Murphy
Charter schools in Milwaukee would be prohibited from using financial incentives as a recruitment tool, under legislation introduced today by Alderman Nik Kovac and co-sponsored by Common Council President Michael J. Murphy.
The charter ordinance is in response to reports that Central City Cyberschool—and others like it—offered cash incentives for student referrals. A flyer from Central City Cyberschool indicated that parents, staff and daycare centers could “earn $200” if they referred a student who met a number of conditions.
“Students and their families should be evaluating schools based on the quality of the education they will receive,” Alderman Kovac said. “Any schools that receive public money should not be trying to game the system like this, and it certainly should not be taking place at a school that is chartered by the city.”
The ordinance will be referred to the Steering and Rules Committee, and Alderman Kovac said he hoped it would quickly be adopted by the Common Council.
In conjunction with the proposed ordinance, Alderman Murphy said he will also be introducing a resolution that calls on the state legislature to prohibit choice and public schools from offering similar financial incentives as well.
“We don’t want any funds that could be used to educate children being diverted to spurious recruitment efforts,” Alderman Murphy said. “A race to the bottom isn’t in anyone’s best interest—least of all the children in our schools.”
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