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Milwaukee’s Precarious Schools

Milwaukee’s Precarious Schools

June 17, 2024 7:00 PM CDT

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In this episode of Busted Pencils, Dr. Tim Slekar and Dr. Johnny Luppinacci dive into the complexities of Milwaukee Public Schools' recent budget challenges. After a grueling weekend of travel, Tim reflects on his Father's Day celebrations and the significance of family time before getting down to business. They are joined by Heather DuBoise Bourenane and Jenni Hofschulte from the Wisconsin Public Education Network, who bring their expertise to discuss a pressing issue: the potential $50 million repayment Milwaukee Public Schools may owe due to a reporting mishap.

Heather and Jenni share their experiences and insights, emphasizing the intricate nature of school budgeting in Wisconsin. They shed light on the statutory requirements that force districts to finalize budgets before receiving confirmed state aid amounts, a process fraught with guesswork and uncertainty. The conversation covers the ripple effects of this budgeting process on local schools, highlighting the precarious position of school principals who must make staffing decisions based on tentative estimates.

Listeners will gain a deeper understanding of the financial pressures facing public schools, the systemic issues at play, and the advocacy efforts aimed at addressing these challenges. Tune in to hear about the upcoming Wisconsin Public Education Network's summer summit, an event dedicated to strategizing and organizing around public school funding and policy.

For more info on the Summer Summit July 30-31, visit

Busted Pencils is a part of the Civic Media radio network and airs Monday through Friday from 6-7 pm across Wisconsin. Subscribe to the podcast to be sure not to miss out on a single episode! To learn more about the show and all of the programming across the Civic Media network, head over to to see the entire broadcast line up. Follow the show on Facebook, X and Instagram to keep up with Dr. Tim, Dr. Johnny and the show!

WAUK - Waukesha - The 'SHA