September 29, 2023

🔒 Commentary: Cardinal rising from the ashes

When Cardinal Stritch introduced in April that the college, based in 1937, was closing down, it was a devastating shock to college students and alumni and an instance of the monetary perils many larger training establishments are dealing with.

The 44-acre Cardinal Stritch campus, positioned in Glendale and Fox Level, was put up on the market.

The Ramirez Household Basis purchased the campus for $24 million, with plans to determine a faculty there. The inspiration was created by Gus Ramirez, the manager chairman of Waukesha-based producer Husco Worldwide, and his spouse, Becky Ramirez. The Ramirez household offered about $60 million to launch St. Augustine Preparatory Academy in 2017. The personal, Christian K4-12 faculty in Milwaukee has about 1,400 college students. The college has a “considerably exceeds expectations” score on state Division of Public Instruction report playing cards.

Aug Prep serves a primarily Hispanic scholar inhabitants on Milwaukee’s south facet. Gus Ramirez has talked up to now about opening a second faculty to serve kids on town’s north facet. If that imaginative and prescient involves fruition on the former Cardinal Stritch campus, it might be nice for Milwaukee.

However for some, voucher colleges like Aug Prep are controversial. They argue that the state’s faculty alternative program drains funds from the general public colleges and that taxpayer {dollars} shouldn’t go to spiritual colleges.

The state has an essential obligation to coach kids, and it’s vital for taxpayers to fund that. However we shouldn’t get hung up on a public faculty versus voucher faculty debate. The aim needs to be to offer every scholar a top quality training, no matter which faculty they obtain that training. The concept needs to be to fund college students’ training, to not fund colleges. Allocate funding to coach youngsters and provides their dad and mom the choice to decide on the suitable faculty for his or her baby, and that faculty ought to obtain the funding to coach them.

All colleges that obtain taxpayer funding needs to be held accountable and topic to state evaluate. There’s no cause we are able to’t have a system that allows high quality public colleges and voucher colleges – and their college students – to thrive.

Voucher colleges aren’t going away. Constitution and selection colleges in Milwaukee now account for about 40% of enrollment in Milwaukee colleges. MPS should coexist with them.

As profitable as among the voucher colleges in Milwaukee have been, they’ve been challenged by a disparity in funding. MPS will get $5,000 to $6,000 in further public funding per scholar. Alternative and constitution colleges fundraise to make up the distinction, however that’s not a sustainable mannequin.

The brand new state shared income legislation features a funding improve for voucher and constitution colleges. Gus Ramirez mentioned that was key to his determination to purchase the Cardinal Stritch campus.

Improbable. Let’s hope it’s revitalized into one other excellent faculty like Aug Prep.