MPS board approves $1.5 billion budget, corrective action plan

The Milwaukee Board of School Directors held a board meeting Thursday evening, June 13, taking steps forward in attempting to resolve the school district's financial situation.

Budget approved

The board approved its proposed $1.5 billion budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year at its board meeting on Thursday, June 13.

The budget was approved by a 7-1 vote.

It would include $140 million from the referendum approved in April, but would also represent an 8% cut from last year's budget.

It could also mean almost 300 staff members would lose their jobs.

The budget will take effect July 1.

Without an approved budget, MPS cannot pay its bills.

However, with an approved budget, state law allows the board to come back and make amendments to the budget in October, after learning how much state aid MPS will receive.

Corrective Action Plan approved

Milwaukee Public Schools will also receive its June financial aid from the state after all.

At the meeting, Milwaukee School Board members also evaluated the Corrective Action Plan (CAP). Members unanimously approved the revised vision of its CAP sent back by DPI, meaning DPI in return will release its June Special Education Aid Payment of $16,623,612 to the school district. It will be paid out in a few days.

The board heard a presentation about the CAP, followed by the opportunity to approve the CAP and identify an MPS designee who would shepherd revisions and finalize the CAP.

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The MPS Office of Accountability and Efficiency submitted the draft CAP on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. The CAP was designed to facilitate the timely release of the district’s general and special aid payments and identify and address the district's challenges that led to the delayed submission of audited financials.

Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS)

However, DPI will withhold its May payment and other payments, until MPS demonstrates it continues to make progress.

"We continue to work every day with MPS to identify and correct possible errors," DPI spokesperson Chris Bucher told FOX6 News. "[...] At this point, our SFS team believes the amount of the error is tens of millions of dollars, and we believe $35-50 million is the closest we can approximate at this time for the amount of aid reduction MPS should expect in the coming year to account for past errors. This amount is subject to change, as we are still in our review process."

Also, as the CAP references staffing in the MPS Office of Finance, the school district announced CFO Martha Kreitzman has retired, effective immediately.

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The draft also stated MPS would submit all overdue data, which was due in September and December 2023, by late September of this year.


MPS finance scandal: 'Corrective Action Plan' submitted to state

Milwaukee Public Schools submitted an updated draft for corrective action to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the board announced.

Interim superintendent

After approving the budget, the board entered a closed session to consider candidates for interim superintendent. This comes after superintendent Keith Posley resigned last week amid the ongoing financial fiasco.

The board then adjourned in closed session for the evening.


State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly

"I remain committed to always doing what is best for the kids of Milwaukee and all of Wisconsin. I know leadership in Milwaukee and people across the state share this commitment; Milwaukee school leadership needs to live up to this expectation as well. I am confident the MPS Board of School Directors will approve and implement the corrective action plan we sent them today. An approved CAP is an important first step to strengthen schools for our learners, who deserve the very best from the adults who serve them every day."