Mayor John O. Norquist of Milwaukee said this month that a voluntary interdistrict desegregation program expanded with court approval in 1987 should be abolished, because it drains funding from the city's schools and encourages residential segregation.
Under the program, he said, white families who move from the city to the suburbs have an expanded range of educational options, including their pick of the city's top schools, while black families have far fewer options if they move to the suburbs.
The remarks came after David R. Riemer, the city's director of administration, released a proposal calling for replacing the interdistrict transfer program with a citywide voucher program that would enable all city families to choose among public and private schools. The value of the vouchers in his proposal would be based, in part, on the receiving school's achievement record and its level of integration.
Detroit's superintendent, John W. Porter, has agreed to serve up to two more years as chief of the city's schools.
Under the deal, Mr. Porter will help the board locate his replacement by next July and will then stay on during the transition.