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Milwaukee Aldermen Call Out Gov. Evers for Not Sharing MPS Problems With Public

Two Milwaukee aldermen are calling out Gov. Tony Evers’ office, questioning why Evers did not inform voters about Milwaukee Public Schools’ severe fiscal problems before the $252 million referendum was on the April ballot.

“Did it look good back in April of last year, when the Governor’s Dept. of Public Instruction started meeting quarterly with MPS to discuss their financial reporting? How about when they started meeting monthly in February of this year? When they accelerated to weekly in mid-March and to daily this May? Hell, no!” wrote Milwaukee Aldermen Scott Spiker and Lamont Westmoreland.

“But did the Governor’s Office at any point prior to Election Day on April 2, share MPS’s financial-reporting problems with the electorate?” the aldermen continued. “Did they consider that your average voter might have wanted to know whether MPS’s financial house was in order before casting a ballot on whether to add an addition onto that house?”

The two aldermen concluded, “Hell, no!”

Lamont westmoreland
Ald. Lamont westmoreland

Leaders at the state DPI, which has oversight over MPS, finally told the public in MAY, more than a month after the massive referendum was approved by voters, that the district had failed to submit key audited financial data, a failure that is imperiling aid to MPS and other districts.

This week, DPI withheld more than $16 million in funding from MPS because of the problems, which led to the resignation of the Superintendent of MPS, Keith Posley.

Yet the governor’s office has not explained what Evers knew when. Although the state Schools Superintendent is elected, Evers proved that he can use his bully pulpit, minimally, to pressure MPS for change, when he issued a press release on June 7, demanding “operational and instructional audits of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS)” and proposing funding to support the same.

However, why was a similar press release not issued by Evers before the April election?

Ald. Scott spiker

DPI is run by a leftist School Superintendent, Jill Underly, who, as an elected official, is not a cabinet secretary of the governor.

DPI did not inform the public of the missing fiscal reports, which are statutorily required, before the election, even though DPI admits that the problems started at least in September. Underly’s executive director, the leftist former campaign operative Sachin Chheda, donated money to efforts to support the referendum.

Evers has praised Underly, whose position he once held.


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