PPS-MKE History

A brief history – We’re just getting started!
Our members are parents, grandparents, teachers, alumni and supporters of Milwaukee Public Schools who believe that high-quality, accessible public schools are a cornerstone of our communities and our democracy.

Many organizations, foundations and community groups are engaged in efforts to strengthen and support the children of MPS. PPS-MKE is different. We are parent-led, parent-created, parent-driven, and we work district wide. Our members first came together as Wisconsin public-school students faced the largest cut to education funding in state history, a nearly $1.6 billion reduction that made headlines across the country in 2011. As we face a broken funding system, and a new budget every two years, PPS-MKE will fight for resources that will help all of our children and their schools, district wide.

In addition, PPS-MKE is focused on addressing issues that are identified as priorities by our member parents. From school climate to transportation to parent recruitment, PPS-MKE is designed to take on parent concerns, but we can only do that with your help. Together we will work to ensure that all of our children receive the high-quality, public education that they deserve.

Parents for Public Schools: 20 years of advocacy for America’s public schoolchildren
For more than 20 years, Parents for Public Schools® has worked to improve public schools by educating, engaging and mobilizing parents across the country. Founded in the capital of Mississippi, a state beleaguered by racial and economic divisions, a committed group of parents put their collective weight behind their public schools by refusing to engage in the “white flight” so prominent at the time. By enrolling their children in the local public schools and demanding higher standards and better resources for all students, this group created a movement. After the formation of Parents for Public Schools of Jackson, other cities expressed interest in the movement, and the National Office of Parents for Public Schools was founded in Jackson in 1991.
Soon the organization represented the diversity of the state and the nation, as parents of all races and backgrounds rallied around the idea that excellent public schools should be a fundamental right and that an informed citizenry upholds our democracy in the United States.
PPS created a “new brand of parent involvement” which elevates the role of parents in public schools from passive consumers to active participants. PPS parents raise standards, solve problems and advocate for their community. In short, PPS parents demand excellent schools and have the skills to make it happen.

Over the years, Parents in Waco, Texas, built stronger alliances between the business community and the public schools to great effect; dedicated parents in Pitt County, North Carolina, cut through barriers of race and class to improve schools for all students; Cincinnati parents mobilized to initiate standards-based reform and to dramatically increase attendance rates; and the vocal and organized PPS of San Francisco tackled difficult issues like selective enrollment, media bias and recruitment of new families into the system. What is the common thread in each area? Dedicated, informed parents who want the best public education for their own – and all – children.

Today, national PPS accomplishes work through three main vehicles:
• A network of community-based chapters located throughout the country that tackle local issues and represent the voice of parents.
• A Parent Leadership Institute, which empowers parents and provides them with professional training that rivals FORTUNE 500 programs.
• Leadership and empowerment training for like-minded organizations across the United States.


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