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HomeBreaking NewsMilwaukee Public Schools Want $259 Million Tax Hike

Milwaukee Public Schools Want $259 Million Tax Hike

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“As it stands, MPS has nearly $19,000 per student. This doesn’t even take into account the increases Gov. [Tony] Evers has set the district up for the next 400 years with his partial veto last year.  Milwaukee taxpayers should carefully evaluate whether a district achieving less than 20% proficiency in reading and math should be rewarded with even more funding” -Will Flanders of Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty

Milwaukee Public Schools are going back to taxpayers for a quarter-billion dollars.

The city’s school board voted Thursday night to put a $259 million tax hike request on the April ballot.

MPS leaders say they need more money to maintain operations and keep up with rising costs.

“We can’t let our public school system fail,” MPS Board vice president Jilly Gokalgandhi told the board.

“How many years are we supposed to keep getting kicked in the face?” board president Marva Herndon asked.

The tax hike request comes after state lawmakers signed off on a school funding increase in June and after voters approved an $87 million tax increase for Milwaukee Public Schools in 2020.

Will Flanders, an education expert at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, told The Center Square it’s unsurprising that MPS is once again asking taxpayers for more money.

“Like death and taxes, low-performing school districts demanding even more money from taxpayers is seemingly inevitable,” Flanders said.

MPS’s CFO told the school board the district will be looking at a $200 million deficit next school year. He warned about layoffs, frozen salaries, closed schools and fewer school buses if the referendum doesn’t pass.

Flanders said MPS already has plenty of money and is in line to get more.

“As it stands, MPS has nearly $19,000 per student. This doesn’t even take into account the increases Gov. [Tony] Evers has set the district up for the next 400 years with his partial veto last year.  Milwaukee taxpayers should carefully evaluate whether a district achieving less than 20% proficiency in reading and math should be rewarded with even more funding,” Flanders said.

Voters will have their say on the tax increase on the April ballot.

Ben Yount - The Center Square
The Center Square contributor
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