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Report blames benefits and pensions for Milwaukee's education woes

Spend more and get less. That, in essence, is what's happening to Milwaukee Public Schools.

The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says MPS spends the third-highest amount per student among 16 big-city school systems throughout the country.

And it has the third lowest number of staff members, while achieving some of the lowest academic results compared to other schools in their respective states.

The tax alliance blames Milwaukee's high costs of teacher fringe benefits, and supplemental pensions that encourage early retirements.

The report did not make recommendations but it asked whether the district can survive without rethinking its compensation policies.

Gov. Jim Doyle and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett have a private consultant looking into the finances of Milwaukee's public schools.

That report is due out in a few weeks.