Review Agenda Item
Meeting Date: 2/25/2021 - 6:30 PM
Category: Report of the Committee on Legislation, Rules and Policies
Type: Action
Subject: 3. Action on Resolution 2021R-024 by Director O'Halloran on Fair Maps
Strategic Plan Compatibility Statement:
Goal 1
Academic Achievement
Policy: BG 2.13 - Board Legislation Program
Attachments Resolution 2021R-024 on Fair Maps
File Attachment:
2021R-024 by Director O'Halloran - Fair Maps.pdf
Background: Gerrymandering has long been used as a tool to undermine American democracy by weighting elections in favor of one party, thereby stifling voters’ voices and causing voters to question if their ballots really matter.

Wisconsin’s electoral districts have been redrawn without public input, resulting in heavily gerrymandered districts. This has had a negative impact on public schools in Wisconsin - including MPS, where funding has stagnated under the districts as currently drawn. This is particularly true for special education funding in Wisconsin, which was described as the worst in the nation during testimony given by national experts before the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, a bipartisan group of state legislators and school district administrators. Efforts to redress this lack of sufficient funding on behalf our students have been hampered by the effects of partisan gerrymandering.

The next round of Wisconsin’s legislative redistricting is scheduled to take place during the 2021-23 legislative session. With that in mind, on January 28, 2021, Director O'Halloran introduced Resolution 2021R-024 on fair maps.

The Resolved portion of the resolution reads:

RESOLVED, That the Milwaukee Board of School Directors join with community groups in demanding that voters be empowered to choose their representatives, rather than representatives choosing their voters; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Milwaukee Board of School Directors call upon the state legislature to redraw the districts in 2021 in an open and transparent manner that allow the public to engage meaningfully in and to help shape the process; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Milwaukee Board of School Directors implore the state legislature to embrace democratic principles by welcoming the participation of its members who are independents as well as Democrats and Republicans and by taking into serious consideration the demographic and geographic diversity of the state; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Milwaukee Board of School Directors direct the Office of Board Governance to send this resolution to the Governor, to the People’s Maps Commission, to the Speaker of the State Assembly, and to the President of the State Senate.

The Office of Board Governance, in consultation with the Administration, recommend that the Board determine how it wishes to proceed.
Fiscal Impact Statement: This item does not authorize expenditures.
Implementation and Assessment Plan Should the Board approve this resolution, the Office of Board Governance will prepare and disseminate the resolution as directed.
Recommendation: Your Committee recommends adoption of Resolution 2021R-024.
Approvals:
Recommended By:
Signed By:
Jacqueline M. Mann, Ph.D. - Board Clerk/Chief Officer