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Milwaukee voters approve MPS referendum question, supporting the city’s students

MPS referendum question passesMilwaukee voters approved the Milwaukee Public Schools referendum question on Tuesday, April 2. Thanks to supporters of the proposal, MPS class sizes will stay smaller; art, music, physical education, and library programming will remain; and high-quality teachers and support staff will be retained. 

The measure also will allow MPS to further invest in language programs, career and technical education, and mental health support. 

The question on the spring election ballot asked voters to allow MPS to raise its revenue limit by $252 million, to be phased in over four years. The district will exceed the revenue limit by $140 million for the 2024-25 school year; the estimated increase in property taxes would be $216 per $100,000 of assessed property value in Year One only. Thereafter, taxes designated for the school district would remain flat. 

MPS was facing a $200 million budget shortfall for the 2025 fiscal year because state funding for schools has not kept pace with inflation since 2009. More than 90 school referendum questions were on the April 2, 2024, spring election ballot to cover funding gaps. 

Every school in MPS will receive more funding, directly supporting children and teachers in the classrooms. 

Even with approval of the question, the school district must find efficiencies in Central Services for necessary cost savings that will help make up the remaining budget shortfall. Next year, MPS will implement a plan to generate millions in cost savings through streamlining and rightsizing the district.  

MPS has made strides in student achievement already, thanks in part to a referendum question approved by Milwaukee voters in 2020. In Milwaukee Public Schools, the absentee rate is down, the graduation rate and test scores are up, and more students are taking part in college and career programs. The district also has more resources to provide mental health support, especially important as children recover from the social consequences of the pandemic. 


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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