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2nd QuarterJuly 2014
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In This Issue
22nd Annual "Salute"
More Arts & Culture Research
MPS Budget Analysis
Arts Education in Milwaukee
Voucher School Analysis
May Viewpoint Luncheon
President's Message
Rob photo

The Public Policy Forum has had a longstanding commitment to regular strategic planning. Not only do we feel compelled to "practice what we preach" to local governments and school districts - whom we consistently prod to make annual budget and policy decisions that reflect long-term fiscal plans and realities - but we also recognize the importance of regularly refreshing our own strategic focus.      


Read on... 

Upcoming Event... 


Policy in a Pub


Monday, July 21, 2014
Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub
1203 N. 10th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53205

Free appetizers and no admission charge.
Cash bar.

New Members

City of Waukesha

Hannah Dugan

Clare Reardon

Schools That Can Milwaukee

Scott Silet

Evan Zeppos

Quick Links...

22nd annual "Salute" highlights data-driven planning and collaboration

This year's annual Salute to Local Government awards breakfast - held at the Italian Conference Center on June 25 and attended by more than 450 people - showed that the principles of data-driven decision-making and collaboration are alive and well in southeast Wisconsin's local governments and school districts.   


 Read on...

Article 2

Forum's work not done on cultural and entertainment needs and options

Few Forum research products in recent memory have received as much public attention and consideration as the organization's two comprehensive reports on major arts, cultural, recreational, and entertainment assets in Milwaukee County. 


The first - Pulling Back the Curtain - was released in December 2013. This report focused on the fiscal condition of Milwaukee County's arts, cultural, recreational, and entertainment institutions, including an assessment of their need for public financial support.  


 Read on...

Article 3
Proposed MPS budget uses benefit savings to avoid cuts in school operations

A new Forum budget brief released in late May finds that the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) continue to benefit from huge health care savings enacted both before and after the adoption of Wisconsin Act 10, allowing the Superintendent's proposed 2015 budget to avoid cuts in teaching positions and make modest investments in new school-based initiatives. 



Article 4
Arts education leaders in Milwaukee could learn from other cities

In late April, the Forum complemented its recent work on Greater Milwaukee's arts and cultural institutions with the latest installment of its research on arts education. The report focused on the common characteristics shared by successful arts education efforts in other cities and how those may be instructive to similar efforts to expand arts education for Milwaukee schoolchildren.



Article 5

Number of voucher schools relatively unchanged since 2003 while enrollment has doubled

The Forum's annual Research Brief and school directory on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) - released in early April - finds that the program includes 110 schools today, having experienced both exits and entrants from its roster of 111 schools in the past decade. In addition, we find that fall 2013 voucher enrollment was 25,820 students, about double the 13,268 enrolled in 2003-2004. Thus, while the number of voucher schools is relatively unchanged, the number of voucher students has grown at an annual rate of 6.9% each year over the decade, including a 4% bump from the 2012-13 to the 2013-14 school year. 


Read on...

Article 6
Assessing the changes to mental health care in Milwaukee County

The major transformation that is occurring in Milwaukee County's adult mental health care system - including a huge reduction in beds at the County's Mental Health Complex and creation of a new governing board to oversee the County's programs and investments - was the topic of a Viewpoint luncheon on May 12. 


The event - which turned out more than 150 business, nonprofit, and government leaders - first featured comments from two national experts who have analyzed the County's system and participated in redesign efforts in other states: David Hughes, Vice President of the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI); and Kevin Martone, Executive Director of Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC). HSRI and TAC are partnering with the Forum on a mental health inpatient capacity analysis commissioned by Milwaukee County.


The national experts were followed by a panel of prominent local leaders:Pete Carlson, President of Aurora Behavioral Health Services; Hector Colon, Director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. Jon Lehrmann, Chairman of the Department  of Psychiatry of the Medical College of Wisconsin; and Kevin Moore, Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Forum President Rob Henken moderated the discussion.


Photos of the event - which was sponsored by the Faye McBeath Foundation, the Helen Bader Foundation, Milwaukee Center for Independence, Nursing's Voice, and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee - can be viewed here, and Wisconsin's Eye's videotape of the event here.

In the News
Forum in the News 
The Forum was frequently featured in different media outlets in the 2nd quarter of 2014. 
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 2nd quarter of 2014. 
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Thank you
Thanks for checking out the latest 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.

Therese Schneider
Director of Operations
Public Policy Forum