Dept. of Education Claims Proposed Bill May Affect The Milwaukee School District

The Republican House Education Committee approved a bill that's causing some controversy in the way money is dispersed to school districts in the country. It's called the Student Success Act, which hopes to revise the current No Child Left Behind Act. 

The Department of Education released Tuesday its analysis. It claims that the bill would cut billions of dollars in funding for school districts with large concentrations of Black and Hispanic students.

The Milwaukee School District is in the list. It states it could lose $158,702,425 in federal funding in a period of six years, according to the Dept. of Education.

The school district has 77,391 students. Its school profile demonstrates that 54.7% are Black and 24.6% are Hispanic.

The cuts in education spending would allow states to divert money from schools serving vulnerable student populations to wealthier districts, the Department of Education stated. 

Republican Representative Glenn Grothman, of Wisconsin, is part of the Education Committee, which proposed and approved the bill.

\"...I'm glad that the legislation before the committee begins to reduce the federal footprint in education and rightfully restore power to the states and local communities,\" he said in a statement. \"Parents and teachers across Wisconsin are far better at making the right decisions for their schools than bureaucrats at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C.\"He also added, “The bill provides more flexibility to state and local officials by eliminating and consolidating nearly 70 unnecessary and ineffective federal programs and cutting the number of federal education bureaucrats. I'm confident and hopeful that this bill will lead to real education reform and save taxpayer dollars in the future.\"

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) sent a letter to Congress to show its disapproval for the bill, according to Arturo Martinez, Wisconsin's LULAC State Director. \"Districts will be free not to place their money in areas where there's a greater need so it takes away the pressure from the state to even hold schools accountable,” Martinez said. 

The Milwaukee School District released this statement, \"We know that students in poverty have challenges that other students do not and federal Title I funding is aimed at removing barriers for those students.\"

\"In a district in which 83% of students are economically disadvantaged, cutting those funds makes it increasingly difficult for MPS to put those students on equal footing with their counterparts across the city, the region, the state, the country and the world,\" MPS states.

Tom McCarthy with the Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction said its too early in the process to comment. However, he said, the department will keep an eye as the bill moves forward. 

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill on Friday. 

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