With more money in federal COVID relief coming to Milwaukee Public Schools, administrators said they will fund bonuses to retain older teachers, hire temporary staff to improve literacy, and take other steps to steady the workforce and improve academics.
This $9.6 million installment, coming after the district already received about $770 million in federal relief funds, is a result of Gov. Tony Evers’ decision to give $110 million of the state’s allocation to K-12 schools around the state.
School board members approved the plan Thursday night, shortly after receiving an updated version of the plan just before the board meeting began.
Board members Aisha Carr and Sequanna Taylor asked to delay approving the plan until there could be more discussion at a board committee meeting.
“I think more time should be given to determine where these funds should go so that it addresses the underlying issues we’re facing in the district,” Carr said.
Superintendent Keith Posley urged the board to approve the plan so the district could start recruiting candidates for the staff positions and possibly retain teachers who are making decisions to retire or leave the district.
“If we wait we will not be able to staff,” Posley said. “We are struggling to make sure we are able to staff on a daily basis.”
Other board members agreed and approved the plan with only Carr voting against it.
Bonuses and remote work
The largest chunk of the funding, $3.4 million, will fund bonuses for district staff who who are eligible for retirement by Jan. 1, and for others who have aged out of the annual salary increases the district provides to staff earlier in their careers. Staff are only eligible for the bonuses if they commit to staying in the district for another year.
“We hope by doing this bonus we can get those very experienced staff to stay on for the upcoming school year,” said Adria Maddaleni, chief human resources officer.
In another effort to attract and keep staff, Maddeleni said it’s important the…
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