Criticized Milwaukee Public Schools raises totaled more than $115,000

The I-Team has uncovered new information about what some are calling "hidden raises" given to Milwaukee Public Schools staff. On Tuesday, the school board will talk about, and possibly take action, on those raises.

The total amount is $115,286, given out in what some are calling a "back door" deal. But, the district denies this was "back door," and representatives told the I-Team it was a standard part of the budget process. A spokesperson said they didn't break any rules, since the board only has to approve raises higher than 10 percent.

Eight people were given raises when they were already making six figures, two more got raises that pushed them over the $100,000 mark. For context, Milwaukee's median income is $37,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The district released a chart detailing the titles of the positions, the new and the old salaries, which the district said were disclosed in the 2017-2018 budget. 

The I-Team searched through the budget and had a hard time finding the titles listed. For example, there are 19 different kinds of planning assistant in the budget. There are six variations of Senior Support Technician, none of which had a salary listed for recent years. Some titles on the list had entirely different salaries in the budget.

MPS explained the District office reorganized during this school year, creating new positions. They said the salary increases may have been included under "staff costs" listed in department budgets.

MPS said they did a review of raises given and reported 10 of the 23 raises to the board themselves.

This information will be discussed Tuesday by the Committee on Accountability, Finance and Personnel. That meeting is at the District Office at 6:30 p.m.

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