District officials in charge of drafting the budget for Milwaukee's public schools have come under fire after filing a request of $471,073 to fund Black Lives Matter. According to them, however, the whole controversy is a big misunderstanding.
Via @VickiMcKenna: Milwaukee Public Schools is spending $470,073 on "Black Lives Matter" https://t.co/YUgKKCxYFG https://t.co/GRTA7yQYwL— Dan O'Donnell (@Dan O'Donnell)1463067278.0
Officials at Milwaukee Public Schools said Monday that the proposed budget allocation for Black Lives Matter, a social justice movement that has been criticized for fostering racial tension and promoting police hatred, would largely go to hiring and training three new social studies teachers.
“No funding is going to any Black Lives Matter organization,” Milwaukee Public Schools spokesman Tony Tagliavia told Fox News in a statement. "The specific expenditures, which are also outlined in the nearly half-million dollar budget proposal, are for three social studies teachers and staff development for other employees.”
The money would also fund a new “cultural studies curriculum,” which would aim to “[ensure] 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.”
How does Black Lives Matter relate to the proposed training and curriculum development?
"The focus is on racial disparities and inequities in education that must be addressed," Tagliavia continued.
According to school officials, the budget would fund both staff and curriculum that is being developed by staff working with an advisory council composed of community members, parents, educators, staff and students.
Milwaukee radio station WISN 1130 AM was the first to report the story, citing the line item in the proposed 2017 school budget listing hundreds of thousands of dollars for Black Lives Matter.
After district officials made their case for the budget, WISN talk show host Vicki Mckenna denied the assertion that any good would come from the proposal.
Wisconsin-based schools watchdog Education Action Group founder Kyle Olson told Fox that critics are right to question the district's proposal. According to him, the Milwaukee School District is known for wasteful spending and poor performance.
Olson also said that taxpayers and parents should be concerned that a movement like Black Lives Matter has been assigned such a large role in shaping training and curriculum.
“All I’ve seen from ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a fomentation of hatred against the police, increased racial division and making excuses for the combination of poor parenting and failed policies from big city liberal politicians,” Olson said.