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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Open a School - Save the Eschweilers

The University Laboratory School, Save the Eschweilers, Innovation Campus, Public Charter Schools, STEM Education, Environmental and Historic Preservation

The blogger happens to be a member of the University Laboratory School's Founding Board of Directors.  As a consequence I'm pretty close to the discussions surrounding our efforts to open a public school - chartered by UWM - in the historic Eschweiler buildings.  It's an exciting prospect - opening a STEM-focused middle/high school in the midst of Innovation Campus.  For the better part of a year we've been working towards reaching an operational agreement with the Wauwatosa School District so that we can proceed with our fundraising and attempt to make this happen.

My colleagues and I recently editorialized that the Wauwatosa School Board shouldn't pass on this opportunity.

In case any of my regular readers are curious about the progress the University Laboratory School has made in their discussions with the Wauwatosa Board of School Directors I can report the following:

Last night, the Wauwatosa School Board took no action on the Superintendent’s recommendation to approve the operational agreement between the Wauwatosa School Board and The University Laboratory School. Instead, the Board voted unanimously to “table” the motion without discussion or public comment.

The Board’s decision was based on a conversation Superintendent Ertl had with the Department of Public Instruction yesterday afternoon, in which he identified some difficulties with a provision of the agreement – 66.30 educational services contract – which enabled the Wauwatosa School District to retain district membership – and resulting revenue – for Wauwatosa students choosing to enroll in the school.

Needless to say, those of us that have worked so diligently to reach an agreement are very disappointed that this issue was raised, for the first time, a few short hours before a final vote. This was a provision requested by the District and reviewed by their legal counsel before the Superintendent recommended it for approval. Immediately after University Laboratory School Director Danny Goldberg learned of these difficulties from Dr. Ertl, he responded with the following email with a proposed solution that would keep the agreement moving forward:

Phil:

I have been in contact with my board and we are prepared to sign an agreement tonight that eliminates section 4--pertaining to the 66.30-- and includes some language stipulating that TULS and WSD will continue to work together to craft a program strategy that achieves revenue capacity for students who enroll from WSD. Section 5 of the agreement still ensures revenue capture over time.

Peace,

Danny

Unfortunately, there was no opportunity for discussion at last night’s meeting, so this offer was not discussed and there was no further guidance as to how the District plans to proceed.

Bottom-line: There is still no operational agreement between the Wauwatosa School District and The University Laboratory School. Nevertheless, we are committed to continuing to work with the district on alternative ways to meet their revenue goals, while advancing this high-quality, unique educational option for our region.

Speaking for the University Laboratory School I want to assure all of our families, particularly those in Wauwatosa, that we remain committed to opening this school at this location.

 We will carry on...

 

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