Should the MPS Levy Solely Fund the Education of MPS Students?

Mike Ford:

John Gurda wrote this weekend on the Socialist roots of the Milwaukee Public School’s (MPS) Department of Recreation and Community Services. The department offers sports programs, community education, and various other activities for the Milwaukee community. Gurda argues, and I agree, that Milwaukee Recreation is an asset to the city and its residents. The question I have is should it be part of MPS?
I do not question the ability of MPS to run the department, just the rationale for having a program not directly related to the education of MPS students housed in the school district. Maybe the task of providing recreational opportunities for residents of Milwaukee would be better placed at the City or County.
Perhaps more important, Milwaukee Recreation is funded through MPS; 4.4% of the 2011 MPS tax levy ($13.3 million) was for this department. This raises a broader question, should the MPS tax levy be used to raise funds for anything beyond educating MPS pupils?
In 2011, only about 80% ($244,262,102) of the MPS levy went towards regular district operations.

Related: Madison’s Fund 80.