Here’s a vague budget item if I’ve ever seen one: “Black Lives Matter: $471,073.”
I’m still searching for the person who doesn’t think that black lives matter, but believe it or not, public schools in one state really did set aside nearly half a million dollars for the vaguely-named purpose.
As 1130 Wisconsin reported: Milwaukee Public Schools has included nearly a half million dollars for “Black Lives Matter” in its list of expenditures included the 2017 budget proposal it published in Wednesday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Here’s a photo of the budget:
You may have noticed the district plans to spend nearly as much on “Black Lives Matter” as it plans to spend on College Access Centers, Universal Driver Education, and Advanced Studies of World Languages.
So on what exactly is the money being spent?
The budget states that $471,073 is budgeted to support the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative by collaborating with branches of government, local businesses and community organizations to increase the number of males of color who are succeeding academically and socially. Efforts include ensuring that culturally responsive teaching practices are in place at all schools, enhancing the district vision for student participation in a wide range of after-school activities and supporting trauma-informed care.
“Culturally responsive teaching.” “Trauma-informed care.” Well alrighty then.
That all sounds great, but the majority of the funds are going towards overhead. “The specific expenditures, which are also outlined in the budget proposal, are for three social studies teachers ($260,889 for salary and benefits for all three) and staff development (training) for other employees ($210,184). That brings the total to the $471,073.”
So is this all politically motivated? There’s some denial, but it seems to be the case:
Since MPS’s budget lists Black Lives Matter as a partner organization, will Black Lives Matter have input in this “staff development?” Or will it have a role in hiring or staffing the three new social studies teachers? Moreover, will Black Lives Matter have a role in shaping the curriculum that these teachers use?
An MPS spokesman insisted that “no funding is going to a Black Lives Matter Organization,” saying that “the name speaks to some of the issues raised by the movement, specifically racial disparities in education.”
But as was previously noted, “Black Lives Matter” is “specifically listed as a current MPS partner organization.”
Let’s fund education, not indoctrination.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]