Fund 80 Is Worth Our Support

Carol Carstensen:

What is Fund 80, and why are people saying such awful things aboutit?
Fund 80 is the state accounting code for community services expenditures,the major portion of which is for Madison SchoolCarstensen Community Recreation (MSCR) and the district’s cable channel 10.The current budget for community services is $11 million. Of that $8 millionis from the tax levy; the remainder comes from fees and grants.
MSCR programs range from exercise programs for seniors to swim lessons forinfants and toddlers, from adult sport leagues to summer day camps forelementary students, plus art and dance classes for all ages.
The 2001-03 state budget allowed community services expenditures to bemoved out from under the revenue cap imposed on school districts. This wasdone so that adult softball leagues could be funded without reducing a schooldistrict’s core educational program for students.

Since 2001, the community services budget has grown because of increasedprogramming through MSCR. This programming includes more after school care,summer activities such as afternoon recreation for students involved inmorning summer school classes, more clubs and sports for middle and highschool students and more county-partnered Youth Resource Centers.
Also, programs that had previously been scattered throughout the budget butwhich were, in reality, community services-related, were brought under thatfunding code.
Finally, the community services budget has grown due to increasedpartnerships with other organizations such as the Urban League, MATC andCentro Hispano, all of which provide after school programs for middle schoolstudents.
And of course, there are those pontoon boats. The boats were donated toMSCR initially to provide a boating experience for people with disabilities.Over time the service has been expanded to provide a variety of tripsavailable to children and the general public.
There is a fee charged for these latter programs and, since the boats arerun and maintained by an enthusiastic group of volunteers, the entire programcosts the taxpayer almost nothing.
As a Madison School Board member I have supported expanding the district’srole in the community and I continue to support the expenditures under Fund80.

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