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1st QuarterMarch 2012
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In This Issue
Forum welcomes new trustees
Report examines support services
More students using vouchers
YoungStar to result in cuts
Forum president to lead GRA
Retiring supervisors Viewpoint
President's Message

While preparing for next year's 100th anniversary celebration will be a primary area of activity for the Forum's staff and Trustees in 2012, our research agenda will not suffer in the least bit.  On the contrary, we have launched three blockbuster research projects for 2012 that promise to have great impact on policy deliberations in the coming year and beyond.


The first is a comprehensive analysis of the fiscal condition of the Milwaukee Public Schools.  We will use our award-winning fiscal assessment methodology to apply standard indicators of short-term and long-term financial health to MPS, and to assess how the district's fiscal challenges are impacting educational programming and quality.  


Read on... 

Upcoming Reports... 

May - Analysis of juvenile offender recidivism in Milwaukee County

May - Annual analysis of property value and tax trends in southeast Wisconsin
New Members

James Funk

James Koleas

Mandel Group

Milwaukee Film

Matt Richardson

Urban Strategies

Veolia Water Milwaukee

Wipfli, LLP

Women's Fund of Greater Milw.

Quick Links...
Forum welcomes five new trustees at annual meeting

The Public Policy Forum elected five new Trustees to the organization's 60-member Board at the annual meeting on March 16, and re-elected 17 Trustees to new three-year terms.  The new Trustees are:


 Read on...

Public schools article
Report examines support services spending in Milwaukee County suburban schools 

Spending Outside the Classroom CoverA report released by the Forum in late March found that most Milwaukee County suburban school districts spend above the median of their peer districts statewide when it comes to out-of-classroom expenditures, suggesting that exploration of savings opportunities in that area may be fruitful.  

Read on...

2012 Milwaukee County Budget Preview
More students using taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private school
2012 Voucher Brief Cover

In its 14th annual census of schools participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) - released in early February - the Forum found that voucher use by Milwaukee students grew 10% in 2011-12 to 23,198 voucher students, reversing last year's enrollment decline. "Changes to the program in the most recent state budget allowed schools outside Milwaukee to join MPCP and expanded eligibility to include families at higher income levels," says Anneliese Dickman, Forum Research Director.


Milwaukee's revenue toolbox
YoungStar to result in cuts for many local child care providers
YoungStar report cover

In a January report analyzing the first year of implementation of YoungStar - the state's new child care quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) - the Forum revealed that 86% of the Milwaukee County child care providers rated as of December 2011 received either one or two stars under the five-star system.  In light of the state's plan to reward highly-rated providers with increased Wisconsin Shares payments, while reducing payments to low-rated providers, that means a loss of funding for most providers in the county.

Region's property tax levy growth
Forum president to lead Governmental Research Association
Rob accepting

Forum President Rob Henken has been nominated by the Governmental Research Association's (GRA) Nominating Committee to become the organization's vice president this spring, and to assume a two-year term as president in the spring of 2014.

The GRA, which was established in 1914, is the national organization of individuals professionally engaged in governmental research.  The Association's membership includes 37 state and local organizations from 28 different states.   


Latest People Speak poll
Retiring supervisors provide candid views on future of Milwaukee County government 

Feb 15 Viewpoint

The Forum assembled a panel of retiring Milwaukee County Supervisors to reflect on their 48 years of collective service and to comment on the range of issues swirling around Milwaukee County government at a Viewpoint Luncheon on February 16. 


Supervisors Lynne DeBruin and Joe Rice, and Board Chairman Lee Holloway, didn't pull any punches in discussing  the functionality of the county board, the long-term impacts of the county's pension scandal, the checks and balances between the legislative and executive branches of county government, and the longstanding financial problems plaguing the county.


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's coverage of the event can be accessed here, and photos and a podcast of the event here and here.    
Social Media article
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We encourage you to "like" our Facebook page and "follow us" on Twitter @PPFMilwaukee.

Awards article
Forum in the News 
The Forum was frequently featured in different media outlets in the 1st quarter of 2012. 
Forum on the streets
Forum on the Streets 
Forum staff were busy disseminating research and sharing their policy insights with government and civic entities in the 1st quarter of 2012. 
Thank you
Thanks for checking out the latest e-Footnotes and please don't hesitate to let us know what you think.  Thanks also for your continued interest and support of the Public Policy Forum.

Pam Matthews
Membership and Operations Manager
Public Policy Forum