Some interesting changes in the Madison School Board’s Governance this week:
- Renewed administrator contracts for one year rather than the customary two years. Via Sandy Cullen:
The administration had proposed a two year wage and benefit package for administrators, but School Board President Johnny Winston Jr. said board members did not want to be locked into increases for a second year.
The 3.98 percent increase for the 2006-07 school year – which includes a base salary increase of 2.18 percent – is equal to what teachers received last year and is the maximum allowed under the state’s Qualified Economic Offer, or QEO, Rainwater said.
- Voted (7 – 0) to use the low bid architect for the planned Linden school (some $200K less than the Administration’s suggested award winner based on points). Construction of Linden is part of a planned November 2006 referendum.
- Began to address health care costs – via Sandy Cullen:
The Madison School Board on Thursday took what members hope will be a first step toward lowering health-care costs for district employees.
In unanimously approving a 3.98 percent increase in wages and benefits for administrators for the 2006-07 school year, board members also reserved the right to make changes in health insurance providers that would offer the same level of coverage at a lower cost to the district. Cost savings would be used for salary increases for administrators and other district needs.
Voters sought change in recent Madison School Board races, and they are getting the first positive stirrings of it.
There are fewer long, tedious speeches and less of the factionalism that has marred board work in past years. There is more substantial questioning and less contentiousness. Split votes don’t have to lead to finger pointing and personal attacks.
And last week the board took a first step toward lowering health care costs.
Lawrie Kobza has spearheaded the shift since her election a year back. And rookie board members Lucy Mathiak and Arlene Silveira, who took office last month, seem to be helping.