Back to school: State, local leaders celebrate with MPS students

MILWAUKEE -- Tuesday, Sept. 3 was the first day of class for thousands of students across southeast Wisconsin -- including the majority of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students.

Leaders at Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts made sure students were wide awake for the big day. They were greeted at the door by a band, a red carpet, and welcome flags. One was being flown by eighth-grader Brianna Leggin, who was excited to be one of the oldest in school.

"You feel like you're more in charge," said Leggin. "You feel like you're more responsible to show the younger kids how to really learn in school."

The welcome line included Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales, Governor Tony Evers, and other leaders. All were there to support the success of MPS.

"The success of the school district is really important, not only to the Milwaukee area, but the entire state of Wisconsin," Gov. Evers said.

Gov. Evers used the first day as an opportunity to talk about a need for additional education funding.

"We had a large increase in a number of areas, not as much as we expected, but just talking to school leaders across the state, they're happy but not satisfied," said Evers.

MPS Superintendent Keith Posley said the increased funding would go directly to the classroom for things like hiring new teachers, and that, like always, the district would do its best with what's available.

Keith Posley

"It's not enough, but we're going to make it work with what we have," Posley said. "We're going to give it 110%  every day, and our children suffer because the lack of."

For now, budgets weren't on Leggin's mind. She was instead focused on enjoying eighth grade.

"It's my last year," said Leggin. "I'm going to miss all my friends though. That's going to be sad, but I'm actually excited for the school year."

Brianna Leggin

MPS held a similar celebration for its schools on the early-start calendar on Aug. 12.

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