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US Rep. Gwen Moore says MPS needs ‘corrective action’

The veteran congresswoman was asked about finances at MPS, the district from which she herself graduated

By
U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore
U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (center) in 2017. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

The Milwaukee Public Schools district needs “corrective action,” said U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, during a wide-ranging event held by the Milwaukee Press Club Wednesday.

The veteran congresswoman was asked about finances at MPS, the district from which she herself graduated, as it considers budget cuts, including potentially eliminating hundreds of staff positions.

She said the system has been starved of resources and some changes would be necessary, but it isn’t clear what that action should be.

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“MPS has been stricken for years and years and years with attempts by private efforts to gouge and take away resources from the schools that they have needed,” she said. “(But as) we stand here, Milwaukee Public Schools’ books and audits are not appropriately done … This is the bare minimum that you have to do when you’re a business.”

Moore also reacted to news that federal funding was suspended for Head Start, a federally funded preschool program for low-income children, following reports of maltreatment and abuse in Milwaukee’s program.

Moore said she and her daughter both went through Head Start.

“It is totally unconscionable that there would be no providers for Head Start in the city of Milwaukee,” she said.

Moore urges Black voters to back Biden

Moore also made a pitch to Black voters to support President Joe Biden’s reelection bid this fall. That comes ahead of an expected summer-long push by the Biden campaign to reach Black residents, who have historically been seen as reliable Democratic voters.

The move by Biden’s campaign comes at a time of waning enthusiasm for some Black voters, who are expected to be critical to the president’s path to victory in swing states like Wisconsin.

Biden recently made the case that Black Wisconsinites should vote for him on Milwaukee talk radio, and Moore echoed his argument that the economy is improving, and that things would be worse under a second Trump term.

“Tie a knot and hang on, y’all,” she said. “Don’t give up our coalition and give up the progress that we’ve made because we’re experiencing these bumps in the road.”

Moore, who is Black, said she understood that some people might vote third party because they are angry at the system or feel left behind by the economy.

“One of the things that kills me about Democrats … is that we expect perfection out of our candidates,” she said. “If you decide you’re going to vote for some third person, somebody or another, or not vote at all, or vote for Trump, kind of as a backlash, please understand … if you ain’t a rich gangster rapper, he ain’t gonna help you.”

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