Chairman Johnson to Hold Field Hearing in Milwaukee on Milwaukee’s Pioneering School Choice Program

Washington – Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, will hold a hearing on Monday, July 20, 2015, titled, The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: A Pioneer for School Choice Programs Nationwide.The full witness list is below. 

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, I have the opportunity to oversee operations across the federal government,” said Johnson.  “One of the areas of jurisdiction that my committee oversees is the District of Columbia, which has some of the worst public schools in the nation.  But Washington also has its own school choice program, and this fall, Congress is going to debate whether to continue this program, which has given thousands of poor children a better shot at a good education. Fortunately, being from the great state of Wisconsin, I know that Congress can gain insight from the oldest and largest urban school choice programs in the country, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.” 

This hearing comes on the heels of Sen. Johnson calling on the Department of Justice to explain years of investigating a thriving school choice program in Milwaukee. “I have concerns that this investigation is fueled by the administration’s opposition to school choice programs, not by any wrongdoing in the Wisconsin program,” Johnson wrote in his June 16 letter.  To date, the Department of Justice has not complied with the committee’s request and has yet to provide any evidence of wrongdoing. 

On Thursday, Sen. Johnson sent a follow-up letter, again asking that the Department of Justice fully cooperate with the committee’s request for information, “I am troubled that the DOJ has refused to provide to the committee any factual evidence of the basis for its lengthy investigation,” Johnson wrote.  Johnson closed the letter by expressing the urgency and importance behind the Justice Department complying in a timely manner. “If you do not fully comply with this request,” Johnson wrote, “the committee will have no choice but to consider the use of compulsory process to obtain the material.” 

WHEN: Monday, July 20, 2015
WHERE: St. Marcus School, Krier Center, 2215 N. Palmer St., Milwaukee
TIME: 5 p.m. CT

Justice Shorter
Former MPCP student

and graduate of Messmer High School
Washington, D.C.

Diana Lopez
Former MPCP student
and graduate of St. Anthony High School

Brother  Robert Smith
Former Principal
Messmer High School

John Witte, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Richard Komer
Senior Attorney
Institute for Justice