MPS board hears testimony in support of more than $470K for "Black Lives Matter" program

MILWAUKEE -- It is a more than $470,000 expense that is drawing a lot of attention. It is money for a "Black Lives Matter" initiative within Milwaukee Public Schools. This was discussed Tuesday night, May 24th as the Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors met to discuss the proposed budget.

"I hope you take the resolution more to heart," Khalil Coleman said.

Khalil Coleman

There are a number of expenditures outlined in MPS' proposed $1.1 billion budget for the 2016-2017 school year -- but the one getting the most attention involves "Black Lives Matter."

"It's just a drop in the bucket to the deficit young people are dealing with every day," Coleman said.

More than $470,000 would be allotted for the initiative.

MPS officials say the goal of the program is to help minority students succeed. Officials say a selected council would help to "develop a cultural studies curriculum and provide staff training on restorative practices."

Part of the money would pay for three teachers' salaries.

Speakers went before the Board of Directors Tuesday night in support of the program.

"It clearly states that we're not negating all lives matter -- but it's to say that black lives matter because black lives are the ones we are seeing laying in the streets. Black lives are the ones behind bars/ Black lives are the ones we're seeing being denied what's necessary from their community," a supporter said.

"I support the resolution. I support funding the resolution and I support any measure that will provide some sort of justice," Angela Walker said.

This money would not be going to the "Black Lives Matter" movement, but rather, it is simply the name of MPS' program.

The final vote on the 2016-2017 budget will take place on Thursday, May 26th.