Fail to Educate Children, Get a $7.1 Million Bonus Courtesy of the Taxpayers

Standard

In what may be a flipping of the bird to Milwaukee taxpayers… Gregory Thornton, outgoing superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools gave out $7.1 million in bonuses. $3.5 million of the loot was given to support and administrative staff in January, and $3.6 million is being given to teachers and psychologists in March. This is considered a bonus for employees, which Thornton said is to thank them for their hard work.

I have ranted at length in the past about MPS, its failure to educate students, its highly compensated teachers, and wide scale waste of resources. Despite sky-high spending per child in MPS, the district still fails to educate the children. In 2013, less than half of 4th graders and 8th graders tested proficient in math and less than half were proficient in reading. Waaaay less than half.  (And lest you buy the phony argument that the poor results are simply because these are urban kids, know that other urban school districts do quite well at educating children.)

So yes, the fact that the majority of students in MPS cannot read or do math certainly means that the administration and staff should get bonuses funded by taxpayers! That was sarcasm, in case you missed it.

Chicago Public School Teachers: It’s Not About the Children

Standard

I’ve written several times here about Milwaukee Public Schools and the problem with the teachers, the administration, the pay, and the cost structure in general. MPS is not alone. Today Chicago teachers are on strike because city officials won’t agree to raise their salaries 19% or 25% or 30%.

Teachers often complain about their working hours and their pay. But the bottom line is that when you factor in the hours they work, teacher compensation is at or above that of many other professional positions. Continue reading

Are Public School Teachers Underpaid?

Standard

I have addressed the issue of teacher compensation multiple times in the context of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and the constant budget problems the district claims to have. The administrators claim that they need more money, yet time and again it is demonstrated that the district has been getting more money on a per-student basis, and in spite of the increased funding children are not being taught to read and write. Continue reading

The Heart of the Milwaukee Public Schools Problem: Employee Costs

Standard

Every year we hear how Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) has a budget problem. We’re told they simply don’t have enough money to operate the school system. That is an outright lie.

Every year they increase spending. Here is a breakdown of the budget and enrollment by year:

The 07-08 budget was $1.19 billion. The 08-09 budget was $1.24 billion. The 09-10 budget was $1.34 billion.

And it’s worse if you look at spending per student. In 06-07, they spent  $12,976 per student. In 07-08 they spent $13,758 per student. In 08-09 they spent $14,520 per student. In 09-10, they spent $16,385 per student. Continue reading