MPS budget proposal cuts nearly 1,000 jobs
Thornton cites loss of grants, reduced state spending
By Erin Richards of the Journal Sentinel
May 3, 2011
Nearly 1,000 full-time staff positions in the Milwaukee Public Schools – mostly teaching and teacher coach jobs – would be eliminated under a 2012 budget proposed Tuesday.
Superintendent Gregory Thornton’s called his proposal one of the most challenging MPS has ever seen, largely because of the proposed state budget that reduces spending on K-12 education. His budget proposal for next year is 13.5% smaller than the budget under which the district is operating.
The proposed budget calls for eliminating transportation for the district’s youngest bus riders, reducing summer-school options, increasing elementary school class sizes, raising school lunch prices slightly, deferring building maintenance, and delaying adoption of new textbooks and educational materials.
“When you have a cut of this magnitude, things will not stay the same,” Thornton said before the start of the board’s Strategic Planning & Budget committee meeting Tuesday night. A public hearing followed, and another hearing will be held Thursday.
Thornton’s proposed budget totals about $1.17 billion, about $182 million less than last year. Thornton said the cuts include $81.6 million as a result of state revenue reductions.
The district also will lose an additional $95.5 million in grant funding. That moneycovers the cost of some popular programs such as math coaches and school nurses.
Most of the grant funding loss – about $82 million – is because of a drop-off in funding from the federal stimulus package, which was set to last through the end of 2011.
Full article: http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/121218189.html