A second round of testimony from individuals giving their two-cents worth on the governor’s budget took place all day Friday.
Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver asks members of the Joint Finance Committee to provide a sustainable and predictable funding structure for all public schools. “Today I urge you to see public education as an investment, not an expense.”
MPS faces a cut of more than $12 million. Considering previous cuts and higher costs due to inflation, Driver says further cuts to school programs would be unavoidable. “That’s why we’re asking that you recognize the value of investing in Wisconsin’s public schools. Our children are our most precious resource and education is the civil rights issue of our generation.”
Driver told lawmakers on the legislative budget writing panel that MPS made use of the tools in ACT 10 after funding reductions four years ago, but further cuts can’t be absorbed. Also, she says she understands the popularity of property tax relief, but a five-dollar-a-year tax break is not worth the sacrifice to education.
Driver spoke at a public hearing on the two-year state budget in Milwaukee, at Alverno College, Pitman Theatre.
As MPS superintendent, Dr. Driver serves more than 77,000 students every day; 87 percent are of color, 84 percent are living in poverty, 20 percent receive specialized services, and 10 percent English language learners.
The third meeting with Joint Finance is Monday in Rice Lake. (Schedule)