Report Raises Doubts About MPS Case for $252 Million Referendum

Credits: The Irish Times

In April, Milwaukee voters will face a critical decision regarding a referendum to provide an additional $252 million for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). However, this decision comes with the prospect of a tax increase, estimated at around $400 on a $200,000 home.

MPS officials argue that the referendum is essential due to several factors, including stagnant state funding, rising inflationary costs, and losing federal pandemic aid.

They warn of a projected $200 million deficit for the upcoming year if the referendum fails, which could result in significant cuts to staff and services.

Reports by Racial Justice (Credits: Medium)

Despite these assertions, a recent report from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum casts doubt on the necessity of the referendum.

The report highlights that MPS has experienced budget surpluses in recent years, raising questions about the accuracy of the district’s projections regarding its financial shortfall.

Additionally, the report suggests that some MPS assumptions may not be entirely realistic. The Wisconsin Policy Forum’s findings introduce complexities to the debate surrounding the referendum.

Reports by Racial Justice (Credits: The Intercept)

While MPS officials emphasize the urgency of securing additional funding to maintain essential services, skeptics question whether the proposed tax increase is warranted given the district’s financial history and the potential for overestimating future budget deficits.

As the referendum approaches, voters will need to carefully consider these competing perspectives and weigh the potential impacts of their decision on the future of Milwaukee Public Schools.