Exclusive: Wasserman Getting Money From MPS?
MILWAUKEE – It’s a TODAY’S TMJ4 exclusive: he prides himself on saving taxpayers money.
So why is a candidate getting hundreds of dollars from MPS?
TODAY’S TMJ4 has discovered state representative Sheldon Wassermann gets money from the school district to take his kids to a private school.
His response may surprise you.
TODAY’S TMJ4’s Lauren Leamanczyk spoke with Wassermann after his state senate debate Wednesday night.
There is nothing illegal about families from private schools getting money from MPS, but Wassermann says he was surprised to get the check and is working to end the practice.
Wasserman's ads make a big deal of him saving taxpayer money on transportation, so we were surprised to find records that he received at least three checks for around $500 each from MPS.
They were for school transportation.
Wasserman, who lives on the city's east side, sends his kids to the private Milwaukee Jewish Day School.
Lauren Leamanczyk: “Your family has received checks for $500 for your kids to go to the Jewish Day School.”
“It's wrong. I should not be receiving the check. Why should a doctor who made the conscious decision to pay the tuition and it's several thousand dollars, get that check? It's absolutely wrong,” Wasserman said.
Wasserman says he did cash the checks, but gave the money to charity.
In 2007, he sponsored a bill that would limit checks to private school parents to one payment per family.
Currently a family gets a transportation reimbursement for each child.
The bill never made it out of committee.
Critics say private school parents still pay school district taxes, so they deserve the money.
Wasserman would like to eliminate the payments altogether.
“I think that people who are going to private schools should not be getting Milwaukee Public School money for their kids,” Wasserman said.
Wasserman is running against state senator Alberta Darling.
The use of taxpayer money has been a key issue in that contentious race.
Wasserman and Darling debated at Concordia University Wednesday night.
The two candidates disagreed on many issues, each trying to convince voters to trust them with their tax money.
Darling says she's also saved taxpayers money.
“I’m very proud to say that I’ve been consistent in rejecting tax increases and I’ve done that throughout my entire career,” Darling said.
The candidates have bombarded voters with commercials and flyers. Both said they don't believe the campaign has gotten too negative.