No growth in revenue and rising healthcare costs require difficult decisions.

Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Darienne B. Driver unveiled a proposed budget for the 2017–18 school year that puts students first, continues the service/delivery reorganization of Central Services, and provides additional support to schools.

The $1.17 billion budget is down 1.8 percent or $21 million from 2016–17. This reflects an expected decrease in revenues because the 2016–17 budget included borrowing from the construction fund that is not included in the 2017–18 proposed budget.

“While every budget inherently has changes and opportunities, developing the proposed 2017–18 budget posed a greater set of difficulties due to uncertainty in funding at the state and federal levels combined with increasing healthcare costs and flat revenues,” said Superintendent Driver. “Despite these challenges, our team has worked hard to develop a budget that continues our focus on students and their success.”

Key highlights of the budget include:

  • Realignment of services in the offices of School Administration, Academics, and Innovation & Information to provide greater support to schools
  • Creation of a new Transformation Network with eight school zones designed to improve academic and school performance
  • Design of new regional service hubs to transform and improve teaching and learning
  • Support for the new Department of Black & Latino Male Achievement
  • Placement of a full-time school support teacher every school
  • Focus on improving school climate at the six comprehensive middle schools by appointing deans of students
  • Support for plans to increase high-performing, in-demand programs

The reorganization, flat revenues and increasing healthcare costs will result in the elimination of seven positions in Central Services and 187 school-based positions. However, due to vacancy and turnover, the number of layoffs resulting from position reductions will be minimal.

Public hearings on the proposed budget will take place on May 16 and 23. All meetings take place at 6:30 p.m. at MPS Central Services, 5225 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee, WI 53208.

© Photo

Milwaukee Public Schools