Excerpt from The Public Trade School
Early in the year 1907, a problem, which gradually had been growing more and more serious, had to be fairly met and solved. It was a question of finances. To charge students the cost of their tuition in a properly conducted trade school means to debar the very ones who need the instruction. Equally impractical is it to expect a few to bear the expense of a work so valuable to the entire community. The need of such a school was proven the first day it opened its doors. From its outset it was making better workmen and better citizens. It was the opportunity and privilege of the Merchants and Manufacturers' Asso ciation to start such a work in the life of a city, but it was not its bounden duty to continue it. The child grew beyond the power of its parent to support it. Since the work brought a rich harvest to the municipality, the municipality should bear the expense of the sowing. The solution of the problem lay in having the trade school included in the public school system of the city. To do this, a tax, additional to the one already levied for the public schools, was necessary. This extra assessment could be collected only by the permission of the state legislature. Con sequently, a bill was prepared and presented to that body early in 1907. It met with immediate indorsement in both Assembly and Senate. It passed and became effective July 1, 1907.
The Milwaukee Board of School Directors immediately seized its Opportunity to take over a trade school well equipped to teach three trades and with one and one-half years' experience in pioneer work. On account of this progressive step on the part of the public-school authorities the original subscribers deeded the entire equipment of the school to the city in fee simple.
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