MPS Spent $27,144 For iPods
MILWAUKEE – It’s a TODAY’S TMJ4 TV exclusive: more questionable spending by Milwaukee Public Schools.
TODAY’S TMJ4 has learned MPS spent $27,000 on iPods.
The district wants students and their parents to fill out a form, and they're willing to hand out iPods to get them to buy in.
$27,144: that's how much Milwaukee Public School spent on iPods for students from 2006 to 2007.
"$27,000 worth of iPods seems to me to be the easy way out,” Chris Kliesmet said.
Milwaukee government watchdog, Chris Klisemet, calls it a taxpayer-funded bribe to encourage more students to fill out and return applications for the district's free meal program.
Every student who did, whether they qualified or not, got entered to win an iPod.
“It’s the Milwaukee Public School system, not the Milwaukee Public Entertainment system, not the Milwaukee Public Surrogate Parent system,” Klisemet said.
MPS got a federal grant to pay for the iPods, but federal money is still public money.
TODAY’S TMJ4’s Aaron Diamant: “Why should it take an iPod to get families to fill out these forms?"
“I wish that it didn't take gifts to give away something that families who deserve these services should get,” MPS Board Member Jeff Spence said.
Most of the money MPS gets from the state and the feds, for nearly everything, is based on the number of kids in the district who qualify for free meals.
That's why board members like Spence say it makes sense for the district to go after every penny possible.
“We as local taxpayers are paying into that. We deserve to get back as much as we can. If not, there are other states and other cities who are getting those resources,” Spence said.
The more money coming into the district from the feds, the less money local taxpayers ultimately have to shell out.
MPS no longer uses public money to buy the iPods. It still offers them as incentives this year, but paid for with private money.