Private school wants to expand, claims MPS is blocking proposal

Cody Holyoke

Photo: Video by

Private school wants to expand, claims MPS is blocking proposal

CREATED Sep. 4, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Hundreds of students and teachers from a Lutheran school marched through the streets of Milwaukee, hoping to gather support for an expansion plan for their school.

Saint Marcus Lutheran School, according to administrators, is just too small to suit each student who applies.

"We have build a building for 750 children. It's completely full. We turned away 3 or 4 hundred children this summer," explained superintendent Henry Tyson.

The solution?  Look for a larger location.

Wednesday, families marched from their school to Malcolm X Academy - an old public school - that sits empty just a few blocks away.

Earlier this year, Saint Marcus administrators drafted a plan to buy the vacant building, near 1st and Center, from the Milwaukee Public School system. They hoped to house 900 kids, but the plan fell flat.

"We've since been told by MPS that we cannot have the building, and we just think that's wrong,” Tyson said.

MPS does have a plan for the property, but it's not the plan teachers and parents had hoped for. 

Last month, the Board of School Directors voted to turn Malcolm X into a community resource center. 

Folks at Saint Marcus argue that's a waste of resources.

“It was built to be a school, served as a school, and should be a school today,” Tyson exclaimed.

Moms and dads don't care about the politics   They just want more families to have a choice.

"I feel so blessed for my kids to be a part of it, that i just want other kids to have the same opportunities my kids have,” said mother Maureen Lawrenz.

School leaders do plan to expand, even if they don't get to move into the former Malcolm X Academy building.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke attended Wednesday’s march. He had some heated words for local politicians. Watch the videos above to learn more.