This is one of the very first reactions to the Trump-DeVos (and Scott Walker) agenda to destroy public education.

RESISTANCE! It works, especially at the ballot box.

CONTACT: Marina Dimitrijevic


Milwaukee board tilts to public education majority opposing corporate operators; profiteering

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Board of School Directors now has a pro-public education majority with tonight’s election of all Wisconsin Working Families Party-endorsed candidates. Tony Baez, who is the new District Six representative on the board, along with incumbents Larry Miller and Annie Woodward, can now begin to eradicate the corporate profiteering that is draining resources from our schools while failing to deliver quality education for our children. Together with other advocates on the board, they have the ability to transform how education is delivered in Milwaukee. Working Families Party also supported Tony Evers in his successful run for a third term as the state’s superintendent of public instruction.

“This election is part of the resistance to the dangerous troika of Donald Trump, Scott Walker, and Betsy DeVos. If Wisconsin Working Families and our partners, including the teacher’s union, had not been involved, corporate interests and privatizers could have succeeded in tipping the balance of the school board, carrying out the Trump agenda and destroying our public schools,” said Marina Dimitrijevic, executive director of Wisconsin Working Families Party. “While the anti-public school forces recruited and funded candidates, they lost because voters want quality public schools for all students. We are building a template and record of taking on corporate operators and winning.”

Wisconsin Working Families Party worked for months to elect a slate of public school champions who will advocate for more resources for our school system, fight off unaccountable voucher expansion, and put forth an aggressive policy agenda that trusts teachers, invests in our student’s success, and adds to the quality of life for working families in Milwaukee.

“The Wisconsin Working Families Party saw that a District Six victory could be key to creating a pro-public school majority on the school board as well as having a dedicated voice for Latino students. They recruited me to run, supporting me throughout the election progress. I’m proud to work with Working Families because we share a vision and a drive to support and deliver a quality education to all of the students in our diverse city,” said Dr. Tony Baez, the newly elected District Six member of the board. “Thanks to Working Families’ campaign support and community organizing, we’ve turned the tide in Milwaukee against privatization and charter schools.”

Beyond assisting the candidates, Wisconsin Working Families Party mobilized volunteers and members using grassroots people power to help our endorsed candidates win. More than 60 people volunteered for several Saturday canvasses, contacting more than 2,000 voters through canvassing or phone calls. The organization also sent mailers to educate voters about the candidates and the issues in the campaign.

“Wisconsin Working Families Party recognized that this election posed a unique opportunity for change on the school board, held onto that vision, and ran until we won,” said Kim Schroeder, president of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association. “This election is a clear repudiation of the vouchers and corporatization that have drained out schools and failed our students. We have a template of how to organize and win.”

This election marks the second successful Wisconsin Working Families Party campaign to elect a pro-public education majority to school boards. In April, 2016, Wisconsin WFP worked with the Racine Education Association to elect eight of nine candidates to the Racine United School Board after Wisconsin’s legislative Republicans forced through a restructure of Racine’s school district governance.

Costly experiments with vouchers and charter schools have not yielded promised results. A study by the Public Policy Forum found that Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination test scores for voucher students lag behind those of MPS students, particularly for voucher students who attend predominantly voucher-funded schools. And schools with high concentrations of voucher students have lower WKCE test scores than their public school counterparts.


The Working Families Party is a grassroots political organization. With chapters in Wisconsin and a dozen other states, as well as a membership that spans the nation, the Working Families Party works to advance public policies that make a difference in the lives of working people, like raising the minimum wage, stopping bad trade deals, taking on Wall Street, tackling climate change, and combating racial injustice. Working Families brings these issues to the ballot box and the halls of government at the federal, state and local levels.