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Budget Brief: 2016 Proposed Budget Milwaukee Public Schools

 

The Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) budget brief highlights MPS ability in its 2016 proposed budget to successfully navigate potential cuts in state and federal aids without significant impacts on existing staffing levels and services. However, the brief also cites MPS' five-year forecast, which projects a deficit of $114 million in 2020 under a scenario in which current state-imposed revenue limits remain in place.

  • MPS is able to meet its revenue challenges by managing savings generated in the current fiscal year in a manner that provides sufficient cushion for 2016. Those savings total $31 million, and emanate largely from reduced personnel costs.
  • MPS' personnel-related savings are even more impressive when viewed over a five-year period. The district has reduced annual fringe benefit costs by more than $100 million since 2011, and has reaped additional financial gains from a turnover in staff from older to younger employees.
  • While many other districts have been preparing for possible state revenue reductions by identifying program and staffing cuts, MPS has proposed a budget with new initiatives and new positions. Those include a 1.6% salary increase for most staff, 39 new school-based positions, and increased funding for reading and math interventions and afterschool activities.

Overall, MPS' fiscal outlook is far brighter than it has been in the past, and its ability to withstand reductions in state aids greatly enhanced, at least for the short term.

 

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