In The News


4th Quarter 2017 President’s Message

When the clock hits midnight on December 31, a long chapter will come to a close for the Public Policy Forum, and an exciting new one will begin. On that date, our merger with the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance will be effectuated, and we will become a statewide policy research organization...Read More


2016-17 annual report on public schooling in southeast Wisconsin delivers mixed news

As many schools throughout Wisconsin get ready to take their winter breaks, the Public Policy Forum releases its 32nd annual public education report: Public Schooling in Southeast Wisconsin: 2017. In this year’s analysis, we find reason for cautious optimism regarding some measures of academic achievement, while other longstanding challenges endure....Read More


Forum’s Top Five Research Findings of 2017

It’s been a busy year for the Forum. Despite all of the work involved with our merger with WISTAX, our research agenda has remained robust and our research findings have been the subject of policy deliberations on many fronts. Here, we take one more look back to unveil the Forum’s...Read More


Albuquerque is new national leader for bus rapid transit

A new leader has been crowned in the movement to advance the quality and speed of bus services in the U.S. After nearly a decade of looking to Cleveland’s HealthLine as the best model for bus rapid transit (BRT) in the nation — as we did in our Picking up...Read More


Is teacher turnover still a challenge in metro Milwaukee? Latest research says yes…and no

Can schools in metro Milwaukee and Wisconsin maintain a stable corps of effective educators for the students they serve and the subjects they teach? The question is a crucial one. Among the factors within a school’s purview that drive student achievement and long term economic outcomes in adulthood, access to...Read More


Our latest take on the 2018 Milwaukee County budget

While Forum members and supporters know that we publish budget briefs each year analyzing the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, and Milwaukee Public Schools budgets, some may be unaware that our work does not stop there. After releasing our budget analyses, we continue to monitor budget deliberations, and we offer...Read More


My Experience with the Kansas City Streetcar

Few local policy issues generate more emotional debate than the Milwaukee streetcar. And, if a recent Marquette Law School poll is any indication, this issue is likely to remain controversial even after the initial streetcar line opens a year from now. While there are several aspects to the streetcar debate,...Read More


2018 proposed budget shows structural imbalance has come to a head

In our 2018 budget brief, we find that the City of Milwaukee’s unsustainable revenue structure and rising pension costs cast huge shadows over the 2018 proposed budget. A report we published earlier this year, On the Money?, found that Milwaukee relies far more on State aids than other peer cities...Read More


VRF Dominates Milwaukee County Budget Debate for Second Straight Year

At this time last year, in the Forum’s review of the Milwaukee County Executive’s 2017 recommended budget, we marveled at how unique it was to see a single issue dominate the budget and its deliberations. This year, in our analysis of the 2018 recommended budget, we sheepishly admit we were...Read More