Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
From the MacIver Instutute:
Tonight’s MPS Votes Matter to Every Wisconsinite
So tonight is the big night for the Milwaukee Public Schools Board of Directors.
MPS is currently working through a $33 million budget deficit from last year, and Superintendent William Andrekopoulos has proposed cutting as many as 680 employees to bridge the gap.
The MPS Board will vote on the budget tonight.
Will they lay off teachers (based on seniority, not on merit)?
Will they institute massive furloughs?
Will some board member, just one, make a point about the 100,000 dollar a year in-house painters the ridiculous checks written to motivational speakers or the $3 million that’s gone out the window to a consultant who is arguably making things WORSE at 5 MPS high school?
Although overall enrollment and student performance in Milwaukee Public Schools has been down for years, administrator salary increases have made huge gains.
MPS lags its big-city peer districts in reading and math scores and has been listed as a “District Identified For Improvement” by the US Department of Education since 2006. While the district saw its enrollment decline by more than 8,000 students during those years as well, some MPS administrative salaries have jumped by nearly 40 percent since 2006.
Most likely there will be a lot of gnashing of teeth and tearing at ones clothes over the unfairness of the state aid formula (more money is the only solution to our problems!) and a sincere hope anda prayer that the feds come through with a bailout.
At MacIver, we’ve spent a lot of time and resources covering the mess at MPS, and for good reason.
The state taxpayers pay for more than half of MPS’ bloated budget. A wasted dollar at MPS is not only more than 50 cents out of state taxpayers’ collective pocket, it is more than 50 cents that isn’t going to other school districts in the state. Another irrefutable fact: the entire state has been paying for the failures of MPS for years in the form of higher taxes and mounting costs of the state-funded social service and criminal justice budgets.
It is not merely about dollars and cents, though. We’re failing to educate these kids, the collective apathy is actually playing an active role in retarding these children’s future ability to be successful, productive members of society.
The failures of Milwaukee Public Schools impact Wisconsin’s economy as much, if not more, than any nationwide economic slowdown; therefore, the votes taken tonight by a handful of elected school board members in Milwaukee will impact the entire State of Wisconsin for years to come.
You would think even more folks would be paying at least as much attention to the problems of MPS…
Our complete MPS coverage can be found here.
We’ll have more, to be sure, tomorrow and in the days to come.
By Brian Fraley
A MacIver Institute Perspective
Director of Communications
The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy
UPDATE: From jsonline.