Milwaukee Public Schools
Press Release

Board approves MPS budget that maximizes support to schools and students amid cuts

Includes more support for attendance efforts, reading/math interventions and after-school activities while maintaining art/music/PE commitment, school support teachers and parent coordinators

By - May 28th, 2015 09:55 pm
The Milwaukee Board of School Directors on Thursday night approved a 2015-16 budget for Milwaukee Public Schools. Photo courtesy of MPS.

The Milwaukee Board of School Directors on Thursday night approved a 2015-16 budget for Milwaukee Public Schools. Photo courtesy of MPS.

MILWAUKEE (May 28, 2015) – The Milwaukee Board of School Directors on Thursday night approved a 2015-16 budget for Milwaukee Public Schools that prioritizes educational opportunities for the district’s 77,391 students.

The approved budget, which is based upon the state budget proposal from the governor, reflects an overall reduction in spending of $28 million or 2.4% amid declining state and federal support. The original state budget plan cut $150 in funding for every student in public schools in Wisconsin, meaning a $12 million cut for MPS. Elimination of that cut has not yet been approved by the full legislature.

MPS’ budget priorities are shaped by the district’s eight Big Ideas, a series of strategic, interdependent, district-wide objectives guided by MPS’ three goals: Academic Achievement; Student, Family and Community Engagement; and Effective and Efficient Operations. Highlights of those priorities include:

  • Reallocating and repurposing resources to provide maximum support to schools and students: Eighty-seven cents of every dollar in the school operations fund (87%) goes directly to staff and supplies for educating students, up from 86% in the current year budget. Another seven cents (7%) fund staff that support students and schools but are not based in schools and the remaining six cents of every dollar (6%) fund operational expenses such as utilities, insurance, technology licenses and debt repayment.
  • Creating a new high school “region”: MPS schools are divided into regions to provide support and accountability for schools. A new high school “region” will group high schools in a single region to better develop strategies that meet the unique needs and challenges of high schools.
  • Providing additional funding for efforts to improve attendance: Students with attendance problems are less likely to graduate from high school and more likely to drop out. The district will support a series of initiatives from grades K4-12 with the goal of improved student performance through increased attendance.
  • Funding for part-time staff to assist with reading and math interventions: Early signs show that the academic achievement gap is closing in some of our schools, but the changes are not happening quickly enough nor are they impacting enough students. More support in reading and math is designed to accelerate improvement.
  • Maintaining MPS’ commitment to arts, music and physical education along with school support teachers and parent coordinators: MPS will continue to fund the additional 100-plus art, music and PE positions added over the last three years as well as a school support teacher and parent coordinator for every school.
  • Adding support for after-school activities: The budget includes additional funding to support student participation in clubs, associations and organizations.
  • Increasing safety aides to support a rapid response team: School safety is a high priority for MPS and to help ensure that students and staff are prepared for any emergency situation, additional safety aide positions are budgeted for 2015-16.
  • Including a modest pay increases for most MPS employees, some of whom have experienced a salary freeze for up to six years: The total amount available is an approximately 1.62% increase from current pay  levels for each affected group of employees, including teachers. An amendment to the budget approved by the Board will ensure that higher percentage increases go to employees making less than $40,000 per year.

The district has experienced some cost savings to help offset some state and federal cuts. Personnel costs are decreasing by $7.4 million as a result of lower average wages. Cost savings also continue due to benefit changes approved both before and after the passage of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10.

The total approved budget – which includes grants and funding for Milwaukee Recreation – is $1,142,273,711, down from $1,170,412,143 in 2014-15. The 2015-16 budget will be amended in October based upon official enrollment counts for the new school year.

About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are meeting reading standards
  • The MPS Class of 2014 earned $31 million in scholarships, up $7 million; and
  • MPS is home to 4 of the state’s top 15 high schools according to U.S. News and World Report

Learn more about MPS by visiting our website. More MPS news is available at

Recent Press Releases by Milwaukee Public Schools - Page 6

Superintendent’s proposed 2016-17 MPS budget directs more district resources to classrooms

Commitment to funding school, student success despite overall revenue decrease

MPS history teacher wins state Teacher of the Year award, nominated for national award

Reagan's Margaret Holtgreive wins honor from National History Day organization

MPS educator named ‘Music Teacher of the Year’

Another MPS music teacher honored for Excellence in General Music Instruction; both awards come from the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee

Study finds collaborative efforts among education partners improving outcomes at Carver Academy

Lessons learned can help build other successful partnerships

Mark Sain unanimously elected President, Milwaukee Board of School Directors

Larry Miller unanimously re-elected Vice President, committee assignments announced

MPS student wins ‘Rising Star’ award from state music industry

Jonah Roth of Milwaukee High School of the Arts

More MPS high schools make national top school lists

District again takes state's top two Washington Post spots; MPS also home two of the state's U.S. News top 10

6 MPS students win national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Previous honorees include Ken Burns, Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath and Andy Warhol

MPS graduate earns prestigious Fulbright award

2012 Rufus King International High School alumna and Bradley University student Sojourner White

2 MPS schools among state’s first to earn new AP diploma program

As more MPS students are taking AP and IB courses, 'AP Capstone' college prep program coming to Golda Meir, Milwaukee School of Languages

More MPS students taking college-level AP, IB courses

January Board update: Teaching artists contracts approved, tentative agreement with MTEA, charter contract renewals

Big stage for eight MPS boys, girls basketball teams at The City Review

Three state top 10 teams to compete as MPS continues to expand athletic opportunities including new fields, teams

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *