Milwaukee schools superintendent resigns amid potential loss of millions in funding

Jun 4, 2024, 6:37 AM

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools resigned Tuesday, with Wisconsin’s largest school district in jeopardy of losing millions of dollars in state funding after not submitting required financial reports to the state.

Keith Posley, a former teacher who has been superintendent since 2018, resigned hours after a public hearing at which more than 100 parents, school district staff members and community members called for his ouster, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

In addition to potentially losing millions from the state due to missing report filing deadlines, millions of dollars in federal funding are also being withheld from the district’s Head Start program after officials discovered abuse and lack of supervision in Milwaukee Public Schools programs.

Federal officials cited “deficiencies,” such as failure to supervise students in the early education and nutrition program for low-income children.

The district received $14 million from the federal Head Start program in the most recent school year, according to district budget materials.

Milwaukee is the state’s largest school district with about 68,000 students.

“We want you gone. No more playing games,” resident Elizabeth Brown said during Monday’s meeting calling for Posley’s removal.

Complaints went beyond the current crisis, calling into question the board and administration’s decisions about spending and staffing, about communication with families, and about students’ poor academic performance.

The school board accepted Posley’s resignation around 2 a.m. Tuesday after a closed session that began at about 8 p.m. Monday.

Concerns came to light after the state Department of Public Instruction released a letter May 24 showing the district had not provided “key financial data,” despite numerous meetings with the state.

The delay in sending the documents makes it impossible for state education officials to calculate aid estimates for other public school districts for the upcoming academic year.

Gov. Tony Evers, a former state superintendent of education, was asked last week about the district’s problems.

“Am I concerned? Hell, yes,” Evers said. “Frankly, it does not look good.”

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Milwaukee schools superintendent resigns amid potential loss of millions in funding