Milwaukee parents launch ‘long overdue’ recall campaign against school board

Angry Milwaukee Public Schools residents are launching a recall campaign against their school board for mismanaging the district and ignoring community concerns.

The group, Recall MPS School…

Angry Milwaukee Public Schools residents are launching a recall campaign against their school board for mismanaging the district and ignoring community concerns.

The group, Recall MPS School Board Collaborative, filed official paperwork Thursday to recall four board members.

The straw that broke the camel’s back came last week, when the state education department announced it would be withholding millions in funding until it received overdue financial data.

Community outrage led MPS’s superintendent to resign, and the district’s comptroller was fired. But the financial crisis is only worsening as the district’s incompetence comes to light.

“It’s not enough for the superintendent to resign,” said Tamika Johnson, a leader of the recall effort. “This board and administration worked to hide the truth from the public, to push a false narrative for the need for more funding.

“This fight is not just about the mismanagement of funds or the withholding of special education aid. This is a big fight that is long overdue.”

“You thought you were getting away with something and you’re not,” said Chantia Davis, another of the collaborative’s leaders. “We called your bluff. It’s on paper that you dropped the ball severely.”  

The four members on the chopping block are Board President Marva Herndon, Vice President Jilly Gokalgandhi, Erika Siemsen and Missy Zombor.  

Herndon and Siemsen have both served since 2019. Gokalgandhi joined the board in 2021 and Zombor in 2023.  

In a press statement released Wednesday, the Recall Collaborative explained MPS has long ignored parents’ and community members’ concerns about the “gross mismanagement of taxpayers’ investments and the ongoing failures of our public school system.”  

“We continue to be disregarded, ignored and dismissed, lied to and deceived, ostracized and silenced. Our children deserve better, and we, as taxpayers, parents, professionals, and voters, deserve better.”  

The Recall Collaborative has just two months to gather over 63,000 total signatures. If they are successful, a special election will be held.