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School Proposes $500K For Black Lives Matter Curriculum

| by Zara Zhi
School StudentsSchool Students

A school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has suggested spending almost $500,000 on a program teaching Black Lives Matter.

The Milwaukee Public Schools 2016-2017 Superintendent’s Proposed Budget report for the Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning shows $471,073 allocated for a partnership program with BLM.

On page 53 of the budget report, MPS says it is partnering with the Black Lives Matter organization "to develop a cultural studies curriculum and provide staff training on restorative practices to improve student attendance, academics, graduation rates and school culture through facilitation of meaningful dialogue and support on issues surrounding race and trauma faced in communities and schools."

The school district plans to have a public hearing on the 2017 budgets where members of the community can voice their support or opposition. The meeting will be held by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors on May 24.

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"We’re doing this work because national and local studies tell us young men of color in Wisconsin and Milwaukee are more likely to be represented disproportionally in the justice system and less likely to be represented proportionally in colleges and universities," said MPS spokesman Tony Tagliavia.

When asked by WISN about what the funds will go towards, Tagliavia said, "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 you mentioned." 

The MPS spokesman also said the Black Lives Matter organization will have “no funding” and maintains that “the name speaks to some of the issues raised by the movement, specifically racial disparities in education.”

He also said that the MPS is not associating with any specific BLM group, but an organization that advocates principles of the movement.

The BLM movement started in 2013, after a series of deaths in the black community at the hands of white police officers and civilians provoked protests -- most notably, the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has blasted the organization for inciting “cop hatred.”

Sources: Milwaukee Public Schools, WISN / Photo credit: U.S. Department of Education/Flickr

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