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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MPS, DPI, $175m

by folkbum

Since it's in the news again, I thought it would be worth revisiting what I wrote a few months ago about this:
DPI’s [John W.] Johnson is pretty clear that the state doesn’t really want to keep that money away from MPS. “Any way you cut it,” he told me, “we want to make sure that Milwaukee still gets their funds.” He explained that some of the money may be spent in Milwaukee, but directed by DPI into steps that would fulfill the corrective action plan.

“We are not leaving the ground in Milwaukee,” Johnson said, noting that Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s state superintendent, is in Milwaukee several times a month working with MPS.
There's a lot more of the backstory there, too, so feel free to click through and read the whole thing. But the takeaway is that there was never very much of a chance that these Title I funds wouldn't be spent as the feds expect them to be spent when they get allocated. Rather, DPI might be the one doing the spending instead of MPS. These are not funds that pay for teacher salaries or building maintenance; they pay for things like tutoring and parent outreach, things DPI can orchestrate just as well or (if the decision had been made the other way) better than MPS.

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