Partners Advancing Values in Education, Inc. (PAVE) is a private, non-profit organization that was incorporated in 1992 to provide scholarship aid to low-income students attending parochial and private schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. PAVE was the reincarnation of an earlier organization, the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Education Foundation, established in 1987 to resuscitate inner-city Catholic schools in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
PAVE’s formation represented a conscious effort to broaden the scope of assistance beyond the Milwaukee Archdiocese by forging a wide coalition of religious, business, and civic leaders concerned about the lack of good educational opportunities for low income children. PAVE raised money from donors who were unhappy with the quality of education being provided by the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) system and disbursed these funds in the form of scholarships to help subsidize the cost of tuition for low- income children attending private and parochial schools.
During the 1990s PAVE became closely involved in the political battles over the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) that had been established in 1990 to provide public funds to low-income parents who wished to send their children to private schools. The original program excluded families whose children attended religious schools. In June 1995 Governor Tommy Thompson signed a law that expanded MPCP to include low-income students at sectarian schools. When, in August 1995, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an injunction suspending the expanded choice program, PAVE raised private sector funds to pay the tuition of those low-income students who had already enrolled in sectarian schools in anticipation of receiving public funding through MPCP. PAVE repeated this fundraising effort during the next two school years, until the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in favor of the expanded MPCP law in June 1998.
PAVE continued its scholarship activities in the wake of MPCP’s expansion, but it also explored ways to support private schools participating in the choice program. In 2001 PAVE became a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), allowing it to provide technical assistance, loans, and grants to schools undertaking capital projects. The PAVE Scholars program was established in 2003 to help urban school leaders pursue certification as urban school administrators. The following year, PAVE partnered with Johnsonville Sausage LLC to establish the Johnsonville Fellows, a body of active and retired school principals that would help urban school leaders at non-public schools develop skills for success.
Since its inception, PAVE has been directed by a board consisting of prominent business, religious, and community leaders. Daniel McKinley has served as CEO of PAVE since its incorporation. Prior to 1992, McKinley served as executive director of the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Education Foundation.
Scope and Content
The PAVE records are arranged in eight (8) series. Arrangement is based primarily on function; that is, series tend to document major programs or initiatives. This scheme took shape before the materials arrived at Marquette, when archives staff visited PAVE’s office to identify files of enduring value. Many of the files appear to have originated with Daniel McKinley, PAVE’s CEO and executive director.
Series 1: Scholarship program, 1991-2010, undated (1.4 cubic feet), documents PAVE’s core activity since its founding: the granting of scholarships to help subsidize the tuition for low income students attending private and parochial schools. Folders are arranged alphabetically. In this series will be found information about PAVE’s involvement with the public school choice movement; in particular, the role it played supporting tuition assistance to students while the Supreme Court injunction was in place. Several folders pertain to Empowering Parents for Informed Choices (EPIC), an Internet site that PAVE helped create to provide Milwaukee parents with information about school choice options.
Series 2: Urban School Leadership Consortium, 2000-2006 (0.9 cubic feet), contains information about PAVE’s programs to support the formation of leaders at urban schools participating in the choice program. Files in the series are arranged alphabetically. The series primarily documents the PAVE Scholars and Johnsonville Fellows programs, both of which fell under the auspices of the Leadership Consortium. The types of records in the files include memoranda, curriculum development documents, event handouts, press releases, and requests for proposals (RFP).
Series 3: Community Development Financial Institution, 1999-2004 (0.3 cubic feet) contains records related to PAVE’s efforts as a CDFI to partner with choice schools and provide financial support for capital projects. Files are arranged alphabetically. Records include notes, planning documents, and surveys.
Series 4: Strategic Planning, 2003-2006, undated (0.5 cubic feet) provides documentation on the strategic planning process that PAVE undertook in the mid-2000s to determine how best to expend its efforts and resources.
Series 5: CEO America, 1992-2001 (0.3 cubic feet), documents PAVE’s relationship with Children’s Educational Opportunity America (CEO America), a non-profit educational foundation based in Bentonville, Arkansas. CEO America sought to coordinate and support private voucher programs across the country and influence public policy at the national level. The series includes correspondence between PAVE and CEO America as well as files on meetings and workshops in which PAVE staff participated. Several CEO America publications are in the series; many of them feature PAVE as a successful example of a private voucher program.
Series 6: Media files, 1985-2008, undated (2.4 cubic feet), consists of accumulated newspaper, magazine, and journal articles about PAVE, school choice, and the Milwaukee Public School system. PAVE monitored the print media closely. The first part of the series is arranged alphabetically – this A-Z run of files was maintained in a metal filing cabinet in the PAVE office. Following these are folders of newspaper articles, organized by newspaper title or topic or both. There may be some duplication of newspaper clippings among these folders. The series also contains non-newspaper articles used for research purposes by PAVE. Articles written by Dan McKinley or members of the PAVE board will also be found in these folders.
Series 7: Photographs and audiovisual materials, 1992-2005, undated (0.8 cubic feet), contains photographic prints, video recordings, and sound recordings. The photographs are arranged chronologically by event; many of them are snapshots taken by untrained photographers. The video and sound recordings are also arranged chronologically. Most of the video recordings are dubs of programming that appeared on television. Several of the sound recordings are copies of radio programs that dealt with PAVE or school choice.
Series 8: Summer Programs, 2007-2009 (0.3 cubic feet) documents PAVE’s efforts to assist partner schools in establishing summer programming for children. It contains a file of research materials that aided in planning the initiative and files for each of the three summers, 2007-2009.