Press Release: Gov. Evers Announces Request for Services to Conduct Independent Operational Audit of MPS

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Evers Announces Request for Services to Conduct Independent Operational Audit of MPS
Governor to initiate waiver expediting contracting process to hire outside, independent auditor to conduct MPS instructional audit
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced his administration is opening a request for services to conduct an independent operational audit of the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) district. The governor announced last week he would proceed with hiring auditors to conduct two audits of MPS, both an operational and instructional audit, respectively, after the MPS School Board of Directors and local community leaders, among others, expressed public support for both efforts.

“Given the challenges facing MPS, it is exceedingly important that we begin outside, independent audits of the district’s operations and instruction quickly to fully identify the extent of the problems in order to work toward having future conversations about solutions,” said Gov. Evers. “It is critical the district cooperates with the DPI as it relates to the financial audit as we take steps to begin additional audits as soon as possible with independent auditors who have the necessary education sector experience to conduct both audits thoughtfully and effectively. I look forward to these audits getting underway so we can support kids, families, and educators in MPS, as well as the greater community.

In order to begin the operational audit of MPS as soon as possible, the operational audit will be conducted under an existing state contract through which entities that have appropriate experience auditing educational settings have already gone through competitive bidding and been selected to receive state contracts through the state’s procurement processes. A list of eligible vendors that may be considered and selected to conduct the independent operational audit is available here.

The governor previously announced he would commit to directing the necessary resources for the state to hire outside, independent auditors with the appropriate education sector expertise and experience auditing educational and classroom settings, going well beyond the ongoing financial audit required for annual state reporting. The Evers Administration is pursuing both an operational audit of the district’s operations, processes, and procedures, as well as an audit of instructional policies and methodologies, which may include, for example, classroom learning environments and professional development policies and practices to support educators, among other areas.

The request for services for the operational audit will open today, June 17, 2024, through June 24, 2024, and requests that the operational audit begin and be completed as soon as practicable. The project description for the operational audit request for services is available in its entirety below:

The State of Wisconsin Department of Administration is seeking consulting services to conduct an unbiased, independent operational audit assessment of the Milwaukee Public Schools. The audit should specifically include a review of the district’s operations, processes, procedures, and performance, to include but not limited to:
  • review of compliance and reporting functions, financial management and controls, including workflow within the finance roles and functions of the district; 
  • analysis of district-wide human resources processes and policies, as well as central office recruitment, hiring, training, retention, professional development, and performance management; 
  • identify areas to support improving central office effectiveness and efficiency; 
  • evaluate overall district organizational chart, including central office existing titles, job descriptions, and appropriate staffing levels across departments; and 
  • develop recommendations to improve available guidance and resources, implement best practices through training, and promote communication and transparency with the school board, relevant partners, parents and families, and the public.

The deliverable report from this audit should include identification of specific strengths and challenges of current operations, as well as opportunities and recommendations for improvements.

Respondents should provide a summary of their experience in performing operational audits and assessments, particularly in the contexts of education and regulatory compliance. Respondents should be aware that the State of Wisconsin also intends to contract for services for an instructional audit of the Milwaukee Public Schools and the successful respondent will need to be prepared to work collaboratively with other auditors to align the simultaneously conducted activities to ensure efforts are not duplicative or unduly burdensome while ensuring thorough results and comprehensive, cohesive recommendations.

Gov. Evers today also announced he is initiating a waiver from the normal procurement process to expedite hiring an auditor with qualifications and expertise auditing school and classroom settings to conduct an independent instructional audit of MPS. The waiver will enable the Evers Administration to prepare a request for services for the instructional audit to identify an independent auditor with the necessary background and experience in school and classroom settings and auditing school districts and instruction. Although the waiver will enable an expedited process to be able to begin the independent instructional audit as soon as possible, the Evers Administration still intends to conduct a competitive selection process to select an appropriate vendor. The Evers Administration will release the request for services for the independent instructional audit in the coming days after the waiver has been processed. An overview of the waiver is available below: 


The Department of Administration (DOA) is seeking a general waiver to conduct a selection process for the review of the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) district’s instructional methods, policies, practices, and methodologies. This review will be contracted by DOA for a limited engagement for the purpose of conducting that review. 


This review will include but will not be limited to providing the state, MPS, and the public analysis, guidance, and recommendations for supporting positive learning environments for students across the district; analyzing practices, policies, and processes for recruitment, hiring, retention, professional development, and support of educators, staff, and administrators; implementing curriculum and instruction best practices; achieving the district’s instructional goals; addressing external factors affecting classroom learning. 


Input from and engagement with educators, staff, administrators, parents and families, the district board, and the surrounding community will also be part of the assessment. DOA is seeking a contractor with experience, qualifications, and expertise in these types of reviews in school district, school, and classroom settings. 

An online version of this release is available here.