MPS

Emily Files

The new, union-backed Milwaukee School Board was responsive to employee concerns as it adjusted and approved the district’s $1.2 billion budget for the upcoming school year.

In a marathon meeting Thursday night, the board shifted dollars to provide increases for things like mental health staff, restorative practice leaders, and bilingual education.

Emily Files / WUWM

The Wisconsin Policy Forum’s annual Milwaukee Public Schools Budget Brief details the long-term financial insecurity facing MPS, even though Superintendent Keith Posley has constructed a $1.2 billion budget for the upcoming school year that protects classrooms from cuts.

"This was a difficult budget to size up," says Policy Forum President Rob Henken. "On the one hand, you do see what seems like an easing of fiscal pressures."

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 / 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 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.

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 / 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

CHUCK QUIRMBACH

Snow and brutally cold temperatures prompted many Wisconsin schools to cancel classes most of this week. Milwaukee Public Schools are back in session Friday after being closed five school days in a row, starting Jan. 25.

When temperatures dropped to minus 20 degrees Wednesday, parents cooped up with their kids at home had to find creative ways to burn energy.

Emily Files / WUWM

The future of four Milwaukee charter schools is a little more certain after a school board decision Thursday night.

The MPS board voted 5-2 to extend its contract with Carmen Schools of Science and Technology, a local charter network. It serves 1,700 mostly low-income students.

Carmen’s two-year contract extension comes with caveats, following significant controversy.

Emily Files / WUWM

Should the Milwaukee School District embrace or distance itself from charter schools? That is the larger question looming over the MPS board as it weighs whether to renew its contract and building leases with the Carmen Schools of Science and Technology charter network.

Carmen’s 1,700 students have better overall test results than the district average. Still, advocates for Milwaukee’s traditional public schools are raising concerns.

Emily Files

Mentors can help at-risk children stay in school, go to college and find a job. Even though there are many mentorship programs in Milwaukee, the efforts are piecemeal. But there’s a new organization in town that’s meant to bring together and bolster the city's mentorship programs.

Emily Files

It's been an interesting year for education in Wisconsin. With 2018 coming to a close, let's look back at some of the biggest education stories in the state.

Education was a central topic in the contest between incumbent Scott Walker and challenger Tony Evers.  Walker called himself "the education governor."

"In the last budget, we gave the largest actual-dollar investment in K-12 education in the history of this state," Walker said in his first debate against Evers. 

Emily Files

For 25 years, the Wisconsin legislature has restricted how much school boards can raise local property taxes. Some education leaders argue that the rules put schools on an uneven playing field. And they say the tax ceilings have become untenable in recent years.

The restrictions at issue are called revenue limits. They impact 80 to 90 percent of school boards’ budgets, controlling how much a board can spend in state general aid and property taxes. The result: school boards' ability to raise mill rates is confined to a legislature-determined dollar amount.

Emily Files

You’ve probably seen the now-infamous photo of dozens of Baraboo high school boys making what appears to be a Nazi salute.

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