School Board Candidate Feature – Mike Meier

Audrey Catlin

Mike Meier is running for seat 2 on the Wauwatosa School Board this year. He has served on the Wauwatosa School Board for 18 years. He has a BA in political science from UW-La Crosse, a law degree from the University of Michigan Law school, and an MBA from UW-Madison in Information Systems, with emphasis on accounting, auditing, and computer auditing. His article co-written with the former chair of the Madison Accounting Department titled “Dealing with Known Corporate Wrong Doing” was published in the Institute of Internal Auditors monthly journal and received an award.

Why are you running for school board?

“I have lived in Wauwatosa for 34 years, with 10 years as a widowed single father of two girls. The teachers, the moms and dads, and the community helped me keep my two girls on a good path as I tried to raise them. Both are doing well, some 20 years later, thanks in large part to the Wauwatosa community and its schools. I run today as a grateful parent trying to give back for the debt I owe the community.”

What do you bring to the school board? 

“I am the only lawyer, the only trained auditor, and the only information technology professional currently on the board or running for the board. I have served six terms, 18 years, on the school board. When problems happen, I have an experienced, no-nonsense ability to find root causes and propose solutions.”

What do you want the school board to focus on?

“The school board should focus on maintaining and increasing enrollment to meet the budget crisis that I anticipate coming before the end of the next term in office. We need to focus on increasing state aid revenue, and stop planning for program cuts in the classroom buildings.”

 What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by the Wauwatosa School District?

“We will see budget deficits before the end of the three-year term in office. The resident enrollment count determines state aid, and state aid is what can meet the budget deficits to stop future program cuts. Therefore, we must compete to maintain and build resident enrollment. We are Wauwatosa, and we can do this.”

In your opinion, what has our school district/board done well? 

“We have done well with sports and recreational facilities, such as fields, swimming pools, and theaters for the performing arts. These facilities are used by students, seniors, and the general community. We go a long way to meeting recreational and cultural needs when we provide local, affordable places for people to do things. In the past, we have done well to maintain resident enrollment to keep the district in a good financial position.

 What will you do to help students? What will you do to help teachers?

“We must keep every student safe and supported and have a genuinely responsive, sensitive approach from Student Services to meet the needs of students with disabilities. We must change practices in Student Services to require an emphasis on the day-to-day safety of students. We need to care more about the victims of bullying. We must invest in our teachers and mental health professionals, and demand effective support services from administrators for classroom teachers and students. We must help every student find their interests and meet their full potential: provide extensive math, science, and technology course offerings; provide extensive offerings in languages, arts, history, and social sciences; provide classroom focus on culturally and socially relevant content, such as African-American history classes, Native American history classes, and women’s history classes to encourage and motivate student interest and performance. Other classes or class units I propose offering include music history, theater history, history of science, and history of disability rights. I believe we should eliminate activity participation fees. We must maintain strong extracurriculars, arts, and athletics: maintain our athletic fields, with continuing public access when not in use by students; and continue our outstanding instrumental and voice music programs. We need to return to teacher-centered education Instead of consultant-centered education: trust the teachers – they are the professionals; protect teachers from retaliation for speaking their professional opinions about proposals from administration; stop depending on high-cost consulting; and have a competitive salary and benefit structure for teachers and initiate a fair reward structure from the date of hire through a long and successful teaching career in Wauwatosa.”

How would you assess our school board’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic?

“Classroom teachers and classroom building staff did a heroic job to continue teaching during the pandemic. The students showed tremendous strength and fortitude throughout the long ordeal. Our technology support has been second to none. The community-based medical panel was a precious gift to the operations of the schools. Unfortunately, our weaknesses during COVID reflected our overall weaknesses: Curriculum administration and Student Services need to do better. My belief is that the successes are due to the students and employees, and the failures are the responsibility of the school board.”

To learn more about Mike Meier’s election platform, visit