The Madison School Board voted down the proposed Studio Charter School Monday night in a 4-2 vote (Against: Carstensen, Kobza, Silveira and Winston; For Mathiak and Robarts with Vang away).
Sparks flew when Lucy Mathiak asked Nancy Donahue about their interaction with the attempts to talk with principals and teachers about the proposed charter school [12 minute video.] Watch the complete discussion here.
Susan Troller has more:
There is disagreement among Madison School Board members over what put the nails in the coffin of a proposal to create a new fine arts and technology-focused charter school.
The Studio School suffered from being the wrong proposal at the wrong time, said board President Johnny Winston Jr., who joined board members Carol Carstensen, Arlene Silveira and Lawrie Kobza in voting against the plan at Monday night’s School Board meeting.
But board member Lucy Mathiak says that the vote was wrapped up in School Board and labor politics, and that the Studio School suffered from disapproval from Madison Teachers Inc., the district’s union.
But Mathiak, who along with board member Ruth Robarts voted in favor of what would have been Madison’s third charter school, said she felt the proposal was primarily doomed by disapproval from MTI.
She noted that the MTI’s School Board candidate questionnaire asks whether candidates support charter schools, and added that there was a MTI representative at Monday night’s meeting.
“There is definitely the feeling that the union does not look favorably on charter schools, although they are public schools, staffed by district teachers,” Mathiak said.
“I find it ironic that the same people who voted for a voluntary impasse resolution agreement regarding teachers’ contract negotiations are now saying that developing a charter school is something we can’t afford. We should keep all of our options open in the bargaining process … the potential for cost savings are very significant,” she said.
Mathiak is referring to a vote taken by School Board members in preparation for negotiations with the teachers’ union next month that included concessions from the district on bargaining over health care insurance.