What's next for the Milwaukee Public Schools money pulled from MPD?
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Following a unanimous vote Thursday night, The MPS school board decided to end its contract with the Milwaukee Police Department.
“There are only so many times that we can try to make an old system work for relationship building, and to see it fail over and over again, you realize you can’t keep doing the same thing," board member Paula Phillips said.
But where will the nearly $500,000 go?
The board's resolution directs the MPS administration to work with the school district’s Black Lives Matter advisory council, the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention, partners like the Running Rebels Violence Free Zone and other community organizations they see fit.
“When we are talking about how we are investing our limited funds, I want to make sure that we are investing in the solutions to [student] problems that they are asking,” board member Megan O'Halloran said.
The conversations with those groups have not yet begun, and no specific plan for the money has been developed so far. Aside from forming the new budget with those groups, MPS has to navigate state law that requires the district hire four officers, which attorneys will work on.
The MPS administration is directed by the resolution to present their plan on reallocating the money to the school board in August.
MPS Superintendent Keith Posley sent CBS 58 this statement on the board's decision:
"I understand the Board’s decision on ending the current contract with the Milwaukee Police Department. This decision was made after listening to the concerns of our students and the community.
Milwaukee Public Schools is really looking to improve the culture for academic achievement in our schools and district. We believe that this will be supported by allocating resources to strengthen areas like culturally relevant curriculum and resources, culturally responsive practices, and restorative practices.
We look forward to ongoing collaboration in these and other areas to create stronger learning environments in our schools where everyone feels safe, cared for and respected."
The Racine Unified School District is considering a similar plan.
Board President Brian O’Connell said he does want to work on ending systemic racism,but moving to community policing style resource officers a few years ago has proved effective.
“That cooperation has resulted in reductions of incidents, reductions in what is known as calls for service," O'Connell said. "That’s the 911 type of call to the school.”
O’Connell also does not have specifics for reallocation.He says the board must decide quickly to get any changes into next year's budget.
"So the time is now.”