Milwaukee Public Schools push for more funding in fight over federal aid

The Milwaukee Public School District is fighting for more federal funding when they currently aren’t eligible for a large portion of it. Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in WisconsinThrough the coronavirus relief bill, Wisconsin received $686 million in aid. The majority of the funding is controlled by a Title 1 formula, which distributes the aid to districts according to the number of low-income pupils they have. The state has no control over that portion of the aid and cannot make any decision on how it’s distributed. Based off MPS demographics, which say 82% of its student population is economically disadvantaged, the district will likely receive an allocated portion of the federal funding. However, 10% of the federal aid package, $68 million, is controlled by a GOP-led joint finance committee. According to a release, in an effort to incentivize in-person learning, the committee will divide the aid based on the number of hours schools have for in-person instruction. MPS is still all virtual and does not return to in-person learning until April, which means they are not eligible for that portion of the federal aid. On Thursday, MPS school board members passed a resolution calling on state leaders to give them the money anyway. “We felt any district who has had virtual learning during a deadly global pandemic should not be financially punished for being a responsible member of the greater community by putting the health and well-being of our students, families and staff,” said Erika Siemsen, an MPS board member. MPS board members did not clarify how much aid they were asking for.Sign up for coronavirus email alerts from WISNGet breaking news alerts with the WISN 12 app.Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

The Milwaukee Public School District is fighting for more federal funding when they currently aren’t eligible for a large portion of it.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in Wisconsin

Through the coronavirus relief bill, Wisconsin received $686 million in aid.

The majority of the funding is controlled by a Title 1 formula, which distributes the aid to districts according to the number of low-income pupils they have. The state has no control over that portion of the aid and cannot make any decision on how it’s distributed. Based off MPS demographics, which say 82% of its student population is economically disadvantaged, the district will likely receive an allocated portion of the federal funding.

However, 10% of the federal aid package, $68 million, is controlled by a GOP-led joint finance committee.

According to a release, in an effort to incentivize in-person learning, the committee will divide the aid based on the number of hours schools have for in-person instruction.

MPS is still all virtual and does not return to in-person learning until April, which means they are not eligible for that portion of the federal aid.

On Thursday, MPS school board members passed a resolution calling on state leaders to give them the money anyway.

“We felt any district who has had virtual learning during a deadly global pandemic should not be financially punished for being a responsible member of the greater community by putting the health and well-being of our students, families and staff,” said Erika Siemsen, an MPS board member.

MPS board members did not clarify how much aid they were asking for.

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