It seems to me that Mayor Barret's proposed compromise on funding an expanded MPCP might makes a limited amount of sense, but also helps us see why Doyle's proposal is a poison pill. Barrett seems to be saying choice is unfair to Milwaukee because the state pays 79% of the cost of educating a kid at MPS and only 55% in the MPCP. Even though the cost of educating kids in choice schools is less than it is at MPS, the percentage difference means that every kid who transfers out costs the district money. Thus approximately $1800 of the cost of educating MPS kids comes from the local property tax and $ 2800 of the cost of educating a choice kid is funded by city taxpayers.
He suggests that the city retain an additional $ 1000 student per choice kid so that it is "held harmless" from choice transfers. Doyle's proposal (putting aside the extra SAGE funding) would let MPS count choice kids as a .45 FTE for equalization purposes. Just what this would yield would require a complicated calculation but, with equalization aid to MPS averaging $ 6500/student, it seems likely that it'd be more than the $ 1000/kid that MPS loses under the current formula. Doyle seems to be saying that the state fund something pretty close to 100% of the MPCP and he knows tht out-of-state legislators aren't going to go for that. And they probably shouldn't.
So why not adopt Barrett's proposal? Assuming his numbers are right, maybe we should. But, then again, it is not self evident that MPS should be held harmless for choice transfers. Part of the idea behind the MPCP is that it supposed to spur a failing MPS to improve. Unless the district feels the sting of losing kids, how is this supposed to happen? Maybe losing the equalization aid for the choice kids is enough (it might be if the loss exceeds the marginal cost of educating them), but, then again, maybe there is method in what Barrett thinks is the 55/45 madness.