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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grothman calls for end to special aid for MPS

MADISON: Today State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) called for an immediate end to a special $10 million per year grant that Milwaukee Public Schools receives from the State of Wisconsin beginning this year.

“We’ve all heard for years rumors of rampant waste, excessive bureaucracy, and lack of concern for taxpayers’ money,” said Grothman. “Fortunately, Channel 4 News and CRG-Network has chosen to highlight some of the most outrageous excesses. It turns out Milwaukee Public Schools are spending more on consultants than on school books. In a district that always claims to be short of money, the excessive advertising budget and catering expenses are also an insult.”
According to the Department of Public Instruction, in the most recent year available (2006-07), the Milwaukee Public Schools spent $12,471 per pupil, while the statewide average is $11,413 per pupil, and some districts, such as West Bend, spent $9,836 per pupil. Last year’s new grant will increase the gap of Milwaukee Public Schools to the statewide average by about another $110 per pupil. Additionally, Milwaukee also received a grant last year totaling almost $9 million annually for low income districts which is not available to most other districts around the state.
“I call for Governor Doyle to leave this new program out of the state budget next year,” said Grothman. “Rather than throwing still more money at this wasteful school board, we should focus on getting rid of the residency requirement which chases experienced teachers out of the system, changing the law to remove bad teachers from districts, and expanding the School Choice program where children come first -- not consultants and bureaucrats.”

“It now turns out as so frequently happens in government that an overfunded bureaucracy has been able to dupe gullible politicians into thinking their problem is a lack of money,” said Grothman.

“One would think with economies of scale and a lower transportation budget associated with urban districts, Milwaukee would be spending significantly less than the state average,” observed Grothman. “Their inability to hold senior teachers due to their residency requirement should also make their costs less.”

Grothman plans to reintroduce Senate Bill 383 from last Session making it easier to remove poorly- performing teachers in the public schools and will also introduce a bill to end advertising by public school districts. “Does anybody not know that their local public school exists?,” questioned Grothman.

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