MMSD hopeful new allotment of funds will help staffing shortage

MADISON, Wis. — As the school year is set to commence in just under two days’ time, leaders from the Madison Metropolitan School District are hopeful that $2 million from the state government will help fill more than 100 teacher vacancies.

Tuesday morning, Gov. Evers announced that $75 million in ARPA funds will go toward helping districts across the state rebound from staffing shortages.

RELATED: Evers announces $90 million K-12 education investment

A lack of staffing is certainly a problem felt in Madison; Tuesday afternoon, a district spokesperson told News 3 Now that 134 teacher openings remain. Madison does have offers out to more than 100 candidates, with the spokesperson saying the district is waiting to hear back on those offers. In the meantime, MMSD has 275 substitutes available as certified, long-term subs.

Republicans pushed back against the spending, calling it an election-year gimmick. Evers’ opponent, Tim Michels, said Tuesday, “No amount of federal Covid aid can paper over Evers’ record of denying parents rights and refusing to reopen schools.”

While the money won’t fix MMSD’s shortfall immediately, Superintendent Carlton Jenkins said what’s most important is unity heading into the school year.

“We need all parents, if you’re a legislator, or you’re a business person or you’re an educator,to sit down and let’s stop all of the inhumane acts of not investing in education,” Jenkins said.