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Governor ready to give control of Milwaukee schools to mayor; Dems opposed to plan

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Governor ready to give control of Milwaukee schools to mayor; Dems opposed to plan
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Gov. Jim Doyle says he has enough legislative support to hand control of the Milwaukee schools over to the mayor.

But leaders in his own party are saying not so fast.

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Assembly Democratic Finance co-chairman Mark Pocan says he can't see how a school district run by City Hall would be different from the one now run by the School Board.

And a spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan says they don't ask members to weigh-in on hypotheticals, and they'll need to see the details of the bill Doyle plans to introduce.

The governor says Milwaukee schools would be better and more accountable if they're run by the mayor.

And he says it would improve the state's chances of getting federal stimulus money under President Obama's "Race to the Top" educational program.

Doyle spoke in Milwaukee, Madison and Wausau Monday to urge legislators to make the changes necessary to qualify for the stimulus cash.

That includes letting teachers be evaluated in part on their students' test scores which has been against the law for years.

Senate Education Committee chairman John Lehman of Racine says there's at least some agreement on ending that ban.

But he says the mayor's control of the Milwaukee schools is strongly controversial, because of opposition from school officials, the teachers' union and Milwaukee lawmakers.

Doyle's plan also allows for a longer school day and school year, and making schools revenue limits more flexible.

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