Abele Names Leader For Controversial School Turnaround

Teachers Union Urged Milwaukee County Executive Not To Act On GOP-Backed Opportunity District


Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has tapped a nearby education official to lead some of the county’s failing public schools.

However, Abele is facing criticism from a teachers union for exercising that authority.

State lawmakers, led by two suburban Milwaukee Republicans, put a plan in the state budget to turn around the so-called Opportunity School District — a group of poorly-performing Milwaukee public schools that could be turned into public charter schools or private voucher schools.

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Thursday, Abele named Demond Means, the superintendent of neighboring Mequon-Thiensville School District, to lead the turnaround effort.

However, Milwaukee Teachers Union Vice President Amy Mizialko said Abele should not have acted.

“At the end of the day, he continues to cooperate with two Republican suburban, white, privileged legislators who don’t know anything about the challenges and opportunities that our students, families and schools face,” she said.

Abele, for his part, said he works with Republicans, Democrats and independents to get things done.