K-12 Education: MPS Makes the Case for Referendum

From the Article:

The school funding referendum, less than two weeks away, is make or break for Milwaukee Public Schools, according to administrators.

MPS principals told Urban Milwaukee that for their schools the referendum is a question between maintaining their current level of staffing and resources, or budget cuts.

“A ‘Yes’ referendum is going to make our school function very similar to how it’s functioning today, and a ‘No’ referendum will change our schools significantly,” said Frank Lammers, Principal of the German Immersion School.

The district is trying to make its case with voters for an additional $252 million in funding over the next four years, with approximately $125 million coming from a property tax increase in the City of Milwaukee. The district successfully went to referendum just four years ago for an additional $87 million.

MPS, the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association and their political allies have been trying to generate support for the funding increase. The city’s powerful business lobby, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) has bankrolled an ad campaign opposing the referendum. Another opposition campaign organized by local attorney Daniel Adams is arguing the proposed tax increase will negatively affect housing affordability.

“I would say in my tenure, as a principal, this is the most significant budget that we’ve that I have had to go through,” said Lammers, who has been principal of German Immersion School for seven years.

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