Tony Tagliavia, MPS Media Manager
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Board of School Directors on Thursday night approved a 2016-17 budget for Milwaukee Public Schools that increases support to schools by $26.6 million compared to the current school year. The plan puts 90 cents of every dollar in the district’s School Operations Fund toward the direct education of students. That compares to 87 cents last year.
“This budget is a win for our children and for our staff, putting more resources into classrooms and schools,” Board President Mark Sain said.
MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver said the budget reflects the district’s plan to succeed.
“It is a blueprint for building on past accomplishments and funding future achievement. We crafted the 2016-17 budget with our most precious resource–MPS students–at the forefront, placing significant emphasis on supports that will also provide our staff with the tools to grow our success.”
The budget builds on the district’s Eight Big Ideas–strategic objectives focused on improving student achievement, community partnerships and district operations.
Among the highlights of the approved 2016-17 $1.1 billion budget are:
- Support for Phase II of the Regional Development plan, which is increasing more high-performing, in-demand programs in MPS
- Expansion of Summer School by $1.4 million to provide more opportunities for students to improve academically, including more seats for K-8 students and a credit attainment program for high school students
- A summer bridge program for incoming 9th-grade students to better prepare students for high school and help more students graduate in four years
- Increased academic, athletic and other after-school activities for students
- Additional funding to support new MPS high school graduation requirements including expansion of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes, SpringBoard, world language programs and career and technical education offerings
- Expansion of programs to increase career pathways for students in the arts, health and culinary arts
- Development of strategic partnerships that provide additional support for schools, students and the district
- Launch of the MPS University to support career development for staff, helping current employees obtain teacher licensure for hard-to-fill positions
The district is also launching new school sites in 2016-17 including a second campus for the high-performing Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School; a new home for Rufus King International Middle School, which offers an International Baccalaureate program; Morse Middle School for the Gifted & Talented; and Milwaukee Excellence Charter School. In addition, a new partnership between Pulaski High School and Carmen Schools of Science & Technology will bring new opportunities to students and an International Baccalaureate program to Pulaski.
Overall district revenues and expenditures are projected to be down $1.3 million next year compared to the 2015-16 budget. The decrease comes in part from a projected revenue limit that is lower in 2016-17. The full budget can be seen at mpsmke.com/budget.