In a rebuke of Milwaukee Public Schools, Northwestern Mutual chief executive officer John Schlifske said the Milwaukee-based life insurance company is giving $750,000 to support charter and private schools in the city.
Schlifske announced the donation in an op-ed published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in which he criticized the underperformance of MPS schools, and its school board and Milwaukee Teachers Education Association’s efforts to “undermine” one of the district’s successful charter schools networks, Milwaukee College Prep.
MCP, which operates four campuses and has 2,000 students, announced it would cut ties with MPS following a financial dispute with the district and plans to join the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as its charter authorizer.
Schlifske blamed MPS for not working to retain MCP, saying the district wants to “eliminate the competition” with a charter school.
“Northwestern Mutual is the largest single property taxpayer in the city, and we are proud to invest in our corporate hometown. We support and invest in high-quality schools. But as a stakeholder, we just don’t see decisions being made to optimize student success at MPS,” Schlifske wrote.