Governor Evers calls for audit of MPS, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley voices support

Governor Evers and David Crowley on MPS issues.
Posted at 10:31 AM, Jun 07, 2024

Governor Tony Evers has called for operational and instructional audits of the Milwaukee Public School District. Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley supports directing funding toward that goal.

In a press release sent out on Friday morning, Evers proposed a more "comprehensive review than the ongoing MPS audit, which is solely focused on the district's financial statements." The governor wants to also look into MPS' operations and systems and review the instructional effectiveness in classrooms.

Evers says a similar effort was conducted within the district 15 years ago, but nothing like it has been done since. He hopes this newest effort will help identify "the extent of the problems" at MPS.

“For this to be successful, Milwaukee Public Schools must be at the table, and I’m asking for their partnership in supporting this important effort, and I am committed to engaging the Milwaukee community and stakeholders, including the folks most impacted—Milwaukee’s kids, families, and educators—throughout this process," Evers said in a statement.

You can read his full statement here.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley also released a statement about the issues facing the district.

“As an MPS parent and alumni, I strongly believe our children deserve the best education possible. The community continues to express concerns and frustration about the state of Milwaukee Public Schools," Crowley wrote. "Our residents, families, and kids deserve action now."

For those reasons, Crowley said he supports Evers' proposal to pay for a more in depth audit.

"Accountability and transparency are the way forward, and we need answers in order to address these challenges, identify solutions, and move forward."

Milwaukee's Mayor Cavalier Johnson gave a press conference at 10:30 Friday to discuss these same issues. During that conference, Johnson announced that he wants to take several steps to help the district, including getting directly involved with the selection of the next superintendent, getting the city comptroller involved with the financial reporting, and getting more voters involved in school board elections.

The city comptroller confirmed that his office is already assisting MPS with financial reporting and will do more going forward.

The Milwaukee Board of School Directors respond

The Milwaukee Board of School Directors responded to comments from the governor and Mayor Cavalier Johnson in an emailed statement Friday afternoon, saying they welcome the "funded audit and continued partnership expressed by Wisconsin State Governor Tony Evers today" and agree what matters most is the kids.

They added they welcome the offer of comptroller and superintendent search assistance from the City of Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, encourage the public’s participation in Milwaukee Public Schools, and echo the mayor’s call for even greater civic engagement.

MBSD emphasized the need for the district to have an approved 2024-25 budget in a timely fashion so that their schools have the resources they need for the next school year.

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