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It’s Public Schools Week! Check out these facts about Milwaukee Public Schools

It's Public Schools WeekFebruary 26 to March 1, 2024, is Public Schools Week! It’s time to celebrate the schools that educate the vast majority of America’s children. 

Public schools are educating an estimated 49 million children, as of fall 2023, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Only 5.5 million U.S. children attended private schools, according to 2021 data, and an estimated 3 million of the nation’s children are home-schooled.  

In Milwaukee Public Schools: 

  • 68,435 students educated (2022-23 enrollment) 

  • Nearly 14% of students are English-language learners; 81 languages are spoken by MPS students from around the world 

  • 90.8% are students of color 

MPS has: 

  • 156 schools 

  • 9,356 employees, including teachers, school staff, administrators, and others who support the mission of educating children 

  • Eight tuition-free public Montessori schools for kindergarten through grade 12 

  • 11 International Baccalaureate (IB) schools, from elementary school through high school 

  • Five of the state’s top high schools, as rated by U.S. News & World Report 

  • 21 bilingual schools 

  • Four language immersion schools (French, German, Italian, and Spanish) 

  • Culinary arts programs in four schools that use curriculum developed by the National Restaurant Association 

The many specialties at MPS schools include: 

  • An agricultural program at Vincent High School, with pathways in agribusiness and entrepreneurship, animal science, food science, culinary arts, environmental science, and horticulture. Lambs, goats, and chickens are raised at Vincent.  

  • Great Lakes studies at Trowbridge School, the closest MPS school to Lake Michigan 

  • Arts focus at schools such as Milwaukee High School of the Arts 

  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) focus at many schools 

  • Certified nursing assistant labs at four high schools, plus college classes in the field at Hamilton, Madison, and South Division. 

Among its programs, MPS helps students who are: 

  • Hospitalized or confined to their homes because of illness for an extended period, through the Home and Hospital Instruction Program 

  • Exploring their futures, through College and Career Centers, the College and Career Readiness program, and Career and Technical Education 

  • Learning English as their second language 

Did you know: 

  • Milwaukee Public Schools was founded in 1846, two years before Wisconsin became a state. 

  • The oldest MPS school building is more than 140 years old: Portions of Brown Street School date to 1882. 

  • A division of MPS, Milwaukee Recreation, maintains playfields and community centers throughout the city. It has a 25-acre park for environmental education, Hawthorn Glen, that includes natural springs and structures from the Works Progress Administration of the 1930s, and it operates Oakridge Farm, a working dairy farm in Dousman for the education of the city’s schoolchildren. Milwaukee Recreation was founded in 1911. 


Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager
(414) 475-8675
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About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • Ninety-four percent of 2022-23 budget dollars go to support schools;
  • The MPS Class of 2023 earned $121 million in scholarships and grants; and
  • MPS is home to five of the state's top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report.

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© Milwaukee Public Schools 2023
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