CRG Network, the citizen organization that emerged from the recall campaign against Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament in 2002, has come up with more than 432,000 answers to the question of how Milwaukee Public Schools spends its money.
The organization has posted a massive database with that many bills paid by MPS in 2006, 2007 and the first half of 2008.
Given that MPS is, among other things, a $1.2 billion-a-year business, there’s a lot of stuff there, ranging from payments for a few bucks to reimburse a principal for parking at a conference to six-figure amounts for contracts with University of Wisconsin researchers and millions of dollars in payments to bus companies.
Conservative talk show hosts and bloggers in recent weeks have targeted items in the database for attention, such as $16,958 in 49 invoices for Cousins Subs, many of them involving food for events involving teacher training.
Chris Kliesmet, executive administrator of CRG Network, said there have been more than 50,000 hits on the Web site with the database, some of them from foreign countries, including Iraq.
A great idea. Every school district should do this.