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MIlwaukee Reaches Tentative Settlement With Nine Suburbs

March 24, 1986

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Negotiators for the Milwaukee School Board and nine suburban school districts announced Monday a tentative racial integration agreement under which thousands of students would transfer voluntarily.

″There will be some in the community who believe it goes too far,″ said John Peterburs, the Milwaukee board’s secretary-business manager. ″There will be others who believe it does not go far enough.

″But I believe the agreement is in the best interests of all of the students of the metropolitan area.″

The Milwaukee board had filed suit against 24 suburbs on June 28, 1984, in an attempt to improve education and reduce racial isolation in the city’s schools.

The agreement calls for the voluntary transfer of about 2,700 city minority students to the nine suburbs, and 9,000 to 10,000 suburban students to Milwaukee schools by the 1990-91 school year.

Approval must be granted by all 10 school boards and U.S. District Court before it can take effect. Negotiators said they hoped the tentative settlement would provide the basis for settlement with the 15 other suburbs and top state officials involved in the suit.

The tentative agreement also calls for the setting up of a minority employee recruiting office to recruit minority group members to work in suburban school districts.

The suburban districts would support Milwaukee’s bid for more state money to improve city schools by reducing class size, expanding early kindergarten programs and providing new programs for students in danger of dropping out.

Warren Kreunen, an attorney for several suburban districts, said the suburban negotiating committee believed the proposed settlement would avoid an extremely costly and time-consuming trial.

″Further, the committee strongly believes that the agreement truly will improve the quality of education and promote racial and cultural integration in education in the Greater Milwaukee area,″ he said.

The nine suburban districts involved in the tentative agreement are Brown Deer, Greendale, Greenfield, Menomonee Falls, Mequon-Thiensville, Shorewood, St. Francis, Wauwatosa and Whitefish Bay.

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