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'The start time, the end times, those are big deals for moms:' MPS considering start time changes

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 18:33:41-05

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin's largest school district is considering major changes to school start times. The proposal will be discussed at Thursday night’s school board meeting.

Like most parents, Lolita Locke plans her day around her kids' school schedules.

"The start time, the end times, those are big deals for moms," Locke said.

However, next school year she may just have to adjust her daily routine.

"I have four little ones and then the big ones, so yeah there's lots of hustle and bustle," Locke said.

Right now Milwaukee Public Schools go in at two different tiers. The new proposal would increase it to three.

By changing the start times, MPS officials say they could save $4 to $6 million in transportation costs.

The board is considering two scenarios with high schools on an early schedule starting at 7:15 a.m. or on a later one starting at 9:00 a.m.

They feel modifying the schedule can save taxpayers money. They also say they wouldn’t need as many buses and drivers, and that ride times would decrease by 27 percent.

Bus drivers would also get in more work hours, and staggering start times could reduce morning traffic in the city.

Plus, officials say later start times for high schoolers could mean more sleep, better attendance, and that they’ll do better in school.

Locke, and her daughter, Ever McDonald, a freshman at Rufus King High School, have mixed feelings about changing the school schedules.

"I prefer it the way it is, to be honest," McDonald said.

“We might as well all be getting ready to leave out the door at the same time, then wondering if while I'm at work, is she on her way to school?” Locke added.

They just hope the board won’t rush to a decision.

“They should talk it through, think about everything, think about everybody involved before they make a decision about it,” McDonald said.

The school board meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

To find out the proposed start time for your child’s school click here.

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