(MILWAUKEE, WI) – On Friday, April 26, 2024, Milwaukee Public Schools released the proposed budget for the 2024–25 school year. Driving positive student outcomes remains MPS’ top priority. The proposed budget increases investments in schools and academic support to students while maintaining services and reducing spending. The Milwaukee Board of School Directors is expected to act on the proposed budget in May.

“This budget positions MPS for long-term success. We are maximizing resources to enhance student achievement; providing more direct support to schools through increased per-pupil funding; reorganizing district offices to place more staff in schools; and reducing spending to close a budget gap,” said MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley.

MPS’ proposed $1.47 billion budget leverages $140 million in new revenue from its recent referendum to mitigate a projected $200 million budget shortfall. The district will continue to invest in students, staff, and schools while reducing expenditures to cope with inflationary pressures and insufficient state funding. Had the referendum not passed, school budgets would have been cut by 13% and department budgets by 26%.

If passed as presented, the 2024–25 proposed budget would allocate its greatest portion of spending to accelerate student achievement. Highlights include:

• Each school budget reflects an additional $250 per pupil and a cost of living adjustment to retain and attract qualified staff.

• District teacher mentor positions will be shifted to classroom teaching positions.

• Additional resources will be allocated to programs that allow high school students to earn college credit through dual enrollment.

• Additional resources will sustain art, music, physical education, and library media in schools.

• Several programs designed to accelerate learning will continue to be funded after federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds sunset, including tutoring programs and the MPS Virtual Program (MVP).

The proposed budget would invest in infrastructure by directing more funds to help address facilities and deferred maintenance costs. Additional funding is also directed to support the Long-Range Facilities Master Plan, which will provide the district with a roadmap to balance its footprint to match the needs of students and the community.

The budget reduces spending to mitigate a projected funding gap. The most significant reductions are from redirecting teacher coaching positions to classroom teacher positions and reorganizing MPS Central Services offices. More than 95 cents of each budget dollar will go to support schools and students. The district will also see cost savings from streamlining operations, such as moving to a single district calendar in the next school year.

About MPS’s 2024–25 Budget Process

The proposed budget will be presented to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors Committee on Strategic Planning and Budget on Tuesday, May 7, at 5:30 p.m. Members of the public can comment on the document at board and committee meetings throughout the month of May. Instructions for public testimony can be found on the Board webpage.

Board Members will have opportunities to introduce amendments throughout the budget process. The Milwaukee Board of School Directors is expected to act on the proposed budget in May, with final adoption of the budget in October. The public can view the proposed budget at

About the Spring 2024 Referendum

On Tuesday, April 2, 2024, Milwaukee voters made their voices heard by voting yes to support the children of Milwaukee Public Schools, passing the referendum question on the spring election ballot.

The question on the spring ballot asked voters to allow MPS to raise its revenue limit by $252 million, to be phased in over four years. The referendum will raise $140 million in revenue for the district in the 2024–25 school year; an additional $51 million for the 2025–2026 school year; an additional $47 million for the 2026–2027 school year; and an additional $14 million (for a total of $252 million) for the 2027–2028 school year.

MPS is one of more than 90 Wisconsin school districts that put a referendum question on the spring ballot because of the state’s continued underfunding of public schools. State funding of public schools has not kept pace with inflation since 2009. Additionally, the state—for the first time—froze per-pupil funding for two consecutive years, in 2021 and 2022. At the same time, the rate of inflation rose significantly.

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