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Milwaukee Public Schools considers how to spend $500M in federal aid

Milwaukee Public School district sign
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jun 17, 2021

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Public Schools is trying to figure out how to use a possible $500 million in COVID-19 relief funds from the federal government. "

The school board is trying to prioritize what schools need for next year as they recover from the pandemic.

There are rules about how this money can be spent.

20% needs to address learning loss, academic needs, mental health resources, and students that were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in underrepresented groups. " With that money hopefully, we will be able to really enhance learning environment learning opportunities for children throughout the district," said Bob Peterson, MPS Board President.

The board shared five proposed priority areas: accelerating learning, health and wellness, facilities, technology, club activities, and student safety nets.

According to reports back, MPS said that30% of their high school students failed their fall semester under the virtual learning model, begging the question if these funds will be enough to meet these students where they are. "It is clear that there is a high need for tutoring for special help for students after school programming."

As for where the leftover 80% will go, Peterson says a majority will go to improving outdated facilities and making sure they are up to date with COVID safe utilities like an HVAC system.

A plan still to be determined.

"We do not have an application for any of these dollars to move forward to do anything, so we are trying to get information now," shared MPS Superintendent Keith Posley.

Legislators could approve this budget sometime between August and September.

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