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Legislature declines to take up Milwaukee school control bill

MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle says the proposed mayoral control of the Milwaukee school district is not dead, even though the Legislature says it is. Lawmakers ended a special session on the issue yesterday, without acting on a bill to let Milwaukee's mayor name the superintendent and set the school budget.

Doyle told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he'll keep calling special sessions repeatedly until the two houses take action. But Milwaukee lawmakers are split on the measure, and it has not gotten much support from legislators from the rest of the state.

Supporters say mayoral control would help improve Milwaukee's student performance. But opponents say it would remove the people's influence in school affairs - and officials in other Wisconsin school districts feared that mayoral control could eventually be forced on them. Doyle says it's needed to help Wisconsin's chances of getting up to a quarter-billion federal stimulus dollars in the "Race to the Top" education program. But U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said last week the impasse would not affect the state's chances of being funded.