Emily Files

Education Reporter

Emily became WUWM’s education reporter in August 2018 after spending four years in small-town Alaska.

She began as a reporter for KRBD in Ketchikan, where she once covered a bear interrupting a high school cross country race. She then worked as a reporter and eventually news director at KHNS Radio in Haines, where she reported on a man in a bear costume harassing actual bears. Aside from the occasional bear story, Emily covered the local politics, tribal issues, hunting, fishing and, of course, education.

Emily is originally from the Chicago area. She studied journalism at Emerson College in Boston, where she reported her very first radio stories for college station WERS. She interned at NPR’s Weekend Edition, The Boston Globe and PRI’s The World. Emily’s work has aired on Marketplace, NPR’s Only a Game, and The World.

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Emily Files

Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature have rejected Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal to increase K-12 spending by $1.4 billion over the next two years.

Instead, the Joint Committee on Finance advanced a plan Tuesday that would boost school funding by about $500 million.

Republicans called it a "pro-kid budget." But Democrats and Milwaukee school officials lambasted the proposal, saying it falls far short.

Emily Files

Wisconsin's powerful Joint Finance Committee will meet next Thursday to discuss funding for K-12 schools. Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, wants to increase state support by $1.4 billion – including major infusions for special education, general aid, and mental health. It would be a windfall for districts after years of mostly stagnant funding.

Emily Files / WUWM

Milwaukee Public Schools will conduct an internal investigation into its former partnership with a troubled charter school company.

The decision comes about a month after federal prosecutors announced bribery charges against former MPS Board President Michael Bonds, who left the board last year. Bonds was accused of accepting at least $6,000 in bribes from Philadelphia-based Universal Companies.

Emily Files

The Milwaukee Public School District is beginning another difficult budget process.

New Superintendent Keith Posley is proposing a $1.2 billion spending plan for the 2019-2020 school year. It includes a modest boost in classroom funding, including 62 new teacher positions and 22 educational assistants.  

Emily Files

In Milwaukee, more than 10% of children test positive for dangerous lead levels in their blood.

Health experts say the most common culprit is lead paint in old homes. But water that travels through lead pipes also poses some risk. Lead lateral pipes connect at least 70,000 older homes in Milwaukee to the city's water mains.

Emily R Files / WUWM

The most-winning team at Milwaukee’s Riverside University High School might be its robotics club. The Riverside RoboTigers qualified for world championships four of the last five years.

This weekend, the team is heading to Detroit to compete against thousands of other teenage engineers in the FIRST Robotics Championship

Screenshot/Wisconsin Eye

Families of children with dyslexia want Wisconsin lawmakers to do more to help struggling readers. Dyslexia is a common reading disorder that makes it difficult to connect written text to spoken language. Children with dyslexia are at risk for reading failure if they don’t get early interventions.

Emily R Files / WUWM

Dyslexia is a common learning disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to connect written text to spoken language. It’s likely one major reason why 65 percent of Wisconsin fourth graders don’t meet proficiency standards on national reading assessments.

Emily R Files

In many places across the United States, families looking for Montessori education turn to private schools. But Milwaukee is different. There are eight free, public Montessori schools in the district.

One of them is James Whitcomb Riley School on the south side. It’s Milwaukee’s newest public Montessori school, and the only dual language one.

Charles Edward Miller/Wikimedia Commons

Updated at 5 p.m. CT

A former Milwaukee School Board president was indicted in federal court Thursday in an alleged charter school bribery scheme.

Michael Bonds is accused of accepting $6,000 in bribes from a Philadelphia-based charter school operator.

Emily Files

Updated on April, 8 12 p.m. CT: Final election results affirm union-endorsed Marva Herndon's win in District 1.

Preliminary results show union-backed candidates winning four of five open Milwaukee School Board seats in Tuesday's election. The race between Marva Herndon and Shyla Deacon in District 1 is too close to call. 

Emily Files

The Kenosha Unified School District is implementing new guidelines following controversy over cheerleading awards that objectified students' bodies. But the ACLU, which threatened legal action against the district, says it's not going far enough.

Emily Files / WUWM

The Milwaukee School Board is about to see a lot of turnover. Five of nine seats are on the ballot in the April 2 election. All the races are contested and only one incumbent is running, which means there will be at least four new faces on the board that governs Wisconsin’s largest school district.

>>View The Election Results

Emily Files / WUWM

Nineteen-year-old Lauren Buchanan is a student at Bethesda College, a specialized program for students with intellectual disabilities. It is run by the nonprofit Bethesda Lutheran Communities, located on Concordia University's campus in Mequon.

"I wanted to go to college because I wanted to meet new friends, see new people and, like, have good relationships, good friendships with people," Buchanan says.

uwm-chemistry-building
Emily Files

In his proposed biennial capital budget, Gov. Tony Evers wants to spend $2.5 billion on public building projects. About half of that money would go to University of Wisconsin facilities, including a new $130 million chemistry building at UW-Milwaukee.

On Thursday, UW System President Ray Cross held a press conference to rally support for the proposed chemistry building replacement.

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