Foundation hopes to bring art, driver's ed back to MPS

Posted at 9:31 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 23:19:13-05
An organization that helps Milwaukee Public Schools is making a comeback. The non-profit Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation has not been active the last few years, but now it's back with a goal is to bring more classes and service.
Regular arts classes and driver's ed are just a few of the programs that are now considered a luxury in Milwaukee Public Schools. The foundation is looking to change that.
"This is helping us bring back some of the things that many of us remember when we were in school," said Dr. Darienne Driver, the superintendent of MPS.
The Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation is now back with a new board and a new focus on improving the school experience for students. That means more art classes, since some schools are down to art once every other week.
"But the foundation helps us really grow those programs exponentially; whether it's robes for choir, helping us with getting instruments, building our drumlines," Driver said.
Plus, driver's ed is now an optional class if you can afford the fees. They run about $150. It's a fee a lot of students cannot afford. Though the superintendent said having a license goes further than just having the right to get behind the wheel.
"This is how you vote, this is how you build your credit, this is how you can acquire property, this is how you can travel," Driver said. "How many employers do you go to and one of the first questions they ask is do you have a valid driver's license?" 
While the foundation focuses on those goals some of the business leaders they've teamed up with are also working on what's next. Tina Chang who is the CEO at the technology company SysLogic hopes her business can help train the next generation of programmers.
"Next stage is hopefully we can be a force to introduce modern technology into the classrooms, we are a technology company. And then bring the mentorship and the coaching and the training into the classroom," Chang said.
The foundation has a goal of raising $1 million this coming year. Contributions can be directed to the MPS Foundation, 5225 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee, 53208.  For information, go to or call 414-475-8013.