Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association
Press Release

Mandela Barnes Endorses Yes for MPS Referendum Campaign

Wisconsin’s 45th Lt. Governor and MPS Alum Knows the Importance of Funding Our Schools

By - Feb 15th, 2024 06:45 am

MILWAUKEE, WI – Former Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes endorsed the Vote Yes for MPS campaign and the referendum to ensure MPS students have access to the education, opportunities, and high quality educators that they deserve.

“Milwaukee children deserve great schools and great opportunities, no matter what zip code they live in. That is why I will proudly Vote Yes for MPS to provide Milwaukee children with the opportunities they deserve,” said Barnes. “As a proud MPS graduate and the son of an MPS teacher, I’ve seen firsthand how our teachers are overworked and underpaid. Without adequate funding, our schools will lose teachers and other critical staff who will leave for higher pay elsewhere.”

“We must raise our hands for Milwaukee’s children. Voting yes on the April 2nd referendum is a vote for good schools where our children can thrive. If the referendum fails, the consequences for kids and parents across Milwaukee will be dire. That cannot be an option for our great city.”

The April 2nd referendum will help MPS provide competitive compensation to keep high quality staff and attract the kind of top-tier talent that our kids deserve. Failure to meet this moment will jeopardize Milwaukee student’s access to art, music, physical education, and school libraries – as well as threatening vocational and technical skills training programs that we need to prepare students for future careers. Increases to class sizes and across the board cuts to school budgets will be the result if we do nothing in the face of a $200 million deficit.

The state government has massively underfunded public education, with per pupil funding lagging inflation by more than $3,300 per pupil since 2009, the year when the legislature stopped automatic increases tied to the rate of inflation. The budget gap was made even worse by the 2021–2023 state budget which “froze state per-pupil revenue limits on schools, capping what districts could take from state general school aids and local property taxes.” (Wisconsin Policy Forum, July 22)

The Vote Yes for MPS Committee is supported by a coalition of parents, grandparents,  educators, community leaders, and pro-public education organizations from across Milwaukee. The full list of supporting organizations can be found at

Click here for more information about the MPS School Support Referendum.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

More about the 2024 MPS Referendum

Read more about 2024 MPS Referendum here

Mentioned in This Press Release


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Mandela Barnes Endorses Yes for MPS Referendum Campaign

Wisconsin’s 45th Lt. Governor and MPS Alum Knows the Importance of Funding Our Schools

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