MILWAUKEE – Education has never been an easy field, but Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Posely and Executive Director of the MPS Foundation Willie Jude told WTMJ they are working to provide students with the best resources they can.
In an exclusive appearance on Wisconsin’s Afternoon News, Dr. Posely and Jude highlighted two declining areas in MPS: students and teachers.
MPS is struggling with a shortage of teachers – with 151 missing on Wednesday, November 15 – for the 2023-24 school year but Dr. Posely says they are still able to provide fulfilling educations.
“Classrooms are covered because we have substitute teachers,” explained Dr. Posely. “We also have a program called Elevate K-12 we are working with.”
Elevate K-12 is a program that allows educators to live-stream instruction to students in the classroom. Dr. Posely says these solutions are viable but the only way to fix the problem is by encouraging young professionals to enter the field of education.
“We have to put love back into education, and we have to encourage young people to go into the field of education,” he said.
As for the decline in students, its been a sharp drop over the last decade. There are currently 20,000 fewer students enrolled in MPS schools than there were in 2008. But the curve might be changing with an extra 350 students enrolled in the district this year.
Other school districts are experiencing similar issues and are forced to react to them. Kenosha Unified announced discussions to consolidate elementary schools because of declining enrollment and a $15 million deficit for the 2025-26 school year.
For the students enrolled in MPS, Dr. Posely described the programs available.
“Amazing international baccalaureate programs,” said Dr. Posely. “Our AP programs, our arts programs and STEM schools.”
Both Dr. Posely and Dr. Jude passionately described the financial literacy programs offered by MPS and why money management skills are essential to young people.
“Talking about money is a little taboo, right?” said Dr. Jude. “But we have to talk about it and be honest if we are going to break generational curses.”
Dr. Posely considered MPS to be ahead of the curve as the State Legislature considers mandating financial literacy classes in school. The bill was advanced in the assembly earlier this year, and if passed the earliest it would be implemented would be 2028.
Dr. Posely and Jude described their jobs with excitement and positivity, but described the difficulty in supervising thousands of students.
“To not be able to provide everything young people need on a daily basis.”
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