Wasteful Spending at Milwaukee Public Schools


I have spent plenty of time ranting about the employee costs at Milwaukee Public Schools. The bulk of the problem is teacher salaries and benefits, which average $100,000 per teacher per school year. In order to make things work financially within MPS, they must cut salaries and benefits for the teachers. If they don’t, the only other way to control teacher costs is by laying off teachers.

But don’t forget that administrative costs in MPS are way out of line as well. Simply put, “central office” provides limited value to the students, but costs taxpayers a ton. Of course, we do need administrative staff to keep things running as a district. But how much staff does the district need?

More importantly, people seem to forget that the administrative overhead does not teach our children to read and add. That’s why administrative spending needs to be kept to an absolute minimum, in order that money can be spent directly on classroom instruction.

The district’s spending is astronomical. Here are just a few items: The school board and its related functions (like governance) will spend $3.6 million in the coming school year. The district will spend $4.5 million on “accountability,” but will still fail to comply with state regulations. $1 million will be spent on “communications and public affairs.”

And here are a few details on central office spending. Part of the budget is for the top level staff in the Superintendent’s office. And the costs are huge:

For one school year, we need to spend over $1 million for the superintendent and his cronies, none of whom actually provide a direct benefit to the children. Nice. Let’s start cutting costs in the administrative area.

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