March Madness is approaching! On the board level, madness can be characterized by the large assortments of topics and decisions that have been or will need to be made such as the superintendent search, budget, and other serious issues that require time, analysis and public discussion. I would like to give you a brief report on some of those topics.
First, the board has developed a Request For Proposals for firms interested in assisting the BOE in its national search for the next superintendent. Second, on Friday March 9th the district will announce prospective budget reductions for the next school year. These reductions will be based on current projections and data that the district has to make decisions. While the Governor’s biennial budget provides some assistance for Madison schools it is not enough to make up the difference in the shortfall. Third, the proposed Studio School charter application was voted down. Fourth, a Fine Arts task force has been developed by the board to: 1) Define community vision and goals for K-12 Fine Arts education; 2) Make recommendations for increasing enrollment of under-represented populations and 3) Make recommendations regarding funding. The task force will report to the BOE in March of 2008. Lastly, our school district will benefit greatly from the recent generosity of the CUNA Mutual Foundation’s $218,000 donation to the Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin for the KinderReady program. Research shows that kindergarten readiness is a key indicator of children’s success in school and beyond. The effort is being guided by the MMSD with the support of the United Way, Dane County and the city of Madison.
The committees of the BOE continue their hard work and analysis. Finance and Operations (Lawrie Kobza, Chair) received a report from the administration regarding interscholastic athletics, extracurricular programs and debt issuance and refinancing for the November referendum. Long Range Planning (Carol Carstensen, Chair) received a report on Northeast area meetings and will bring forward a plan to move the Brentwood neighborhood to Emerson to address overcrowding at Lakeview. Human Resources (Ruth Robarts, Chair) will review the annual report on minority recruitment/retention on March 5th at 6 pm. Communications (Arlene Silveira, Chair) discussed the MMSD legislative agenda and analyzed the Governor’s proposed state budget. Community Partnerships (Lucy Mathiak, Chair) received reports and presentations from WCATY, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, Kajsiab House, Gay-Straight Alliance for Safe Schools. In addition, staff members from MSCR discussed student functions and supervision at events. Performance and Achievement (Shwaw Vang, Chair) received budget recommendations for the 2007 Summer School. Representatives from Nuestro Mundo addressed the committee regarding future plans.
Read the new edition of MMSD Today at http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/today/.
March 5th is district wide kindergarten registration. MSCR Summer Preview will be held at LaFollette on March 6th and Memorial on March 7th. MSCR and over 50 local activity providers will let you know what they are offering this summer for children and adults. Call 204-3000 for info… Employees of MMSD and citizen volunteers will receive the Distinguished Service Award, the school district’s highest honor for meritorious contributions to students and schools on Monday, March 26th at 7 p.m. in the Memorial High School auditorium… Forty-one names for the new elementary school have been submitted for consideration to the Board. Citizens can make comments about the proposed names by going to www.mmsd.org until March 21st. A public hearing regarding the names will be held on Monday March 19th at the Doyle Building at 6:30 p.m.
Are You Frustrated With Wisconsin School Financing?:
On Wednesday March 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the Doyle Building the MMSD will hold an information and advocacy session related to the state budget. The meeting will provide advocacy talking points to contact legislators and gain support for some of the budget’s provisions. Together, we can work to educate legislators and bring about school finance reform.
Thank you for your interest and support of the MMSD.
Johnny Winston, Jr., President, Madison Board of Education
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