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Milwaukee school superintendent resigns under fire over financial report delays

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Milwaukee school superintendent resigns under fire over financial report delays

Jun 04, 2024 | 4:56 pm ET
By Erik Gunn
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Milwaukee school superintendent resigns under fire over financial report delays
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An empty high school classroom. (Dan Forer | Getty Images)

Milwaukee school Superintendent Keith Posley resigned early Tuesday, 11 days after the state education department warned that it could withhold state aid to the district for failure to submit required financial reports.

Milwaukee school superintendent resigns under fire over financial report delays
Milwaukee Public Schools Supt. Keith Posley (MPS photo)

On Monday evening, a Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) school board public hearing that lasted almost three hours was dominated by calls for Posley to go. A closed session followed, lasting more than five hours. After reconvening in public, the school board voted unanimously at 2 a.m. Tuesday to accept Posley’s resignation, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

Posley, whose resignation is effective June 30, will receive a $160,000 severance payment in a separation agreement, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

In a May 24 letter to the district, the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) listed several tardy financial reports that MPS has not sent, including an annual report due in September 2023 and an audit due in December. The letter said the state might withhold the district’s June special education aid payment, which was $15.7 million in 2023, along with future state aid payments.

The DPI letter noted that the department had already had  repeated communications with the Posley and administrators. In addition, the district’s Head Start program is in the midst of a 30-day suspension by the federal government, citing deficiencies in staff conduct and supervision of children.

At a May 30 school board meeting to discuss the district’s budget, board members called police to remove spectators who booed and interrupted Posley and district financial officers.