Mayor Candidates Debate City Schools

Mary Yeater Rathbun:

Mayoral candidate Ray Allen told 250 Rotarians Wednesday that he would pull cops out of the schools, but later told The Capital Times that is not what he meant.
Allen said after the debate that what he meant to say, as he has said numerous times before, is that he would pull the cost of funding the police officers in the schools out of the school budget and transfer it to the city budget. This might, depending on the latest school financing laws, allow the schools to free up roughly $280,000 to apply to educational programs.
That is not, however, what members of Downtown Rotary heard at the Monona Terrace mayoral forum featuring both Allen and Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.
As Rotarian Amanda Todd said, “As a mom, I was surprised to learn Allen plans to remove the cops from the schools.”
Allen’s misstatement came in response to a question from forum moderator Regina Millner about community safety being critical to recruiting and retaining businesses in Madison. In her question, Millner said the other major factor was the quality of the schools and remarked that the mayor had no control over the quality of the schools.
Allen, who served nine years on the Madison School Board, took issue with this assumption. “The mayor can be the champion of the schools,” he said.

Gangs and School Violence Forum Audio / Video and notes.
Candidate Websites: Ray Allen | Dave Cieslewicz

  • Larry Winkler

    Ray Allen clearly misspoke his position on police in the school in front of the Rotary.
    At the mayoral forum I attended March 8 at the Madison Club, Allen was clear that the cost of police at the schools would be City of Madison cost, not on the school district budget.
    Of course, if the statutory change being proposed by Spencer Black at the State level to place school security outside of the budget caps passes (has a bill actually been introduced?), then I suspect Allen’s suggested change would not go through — though it would not matter to taxpayers either way.

  • concerned parent

    I’ve attended a few Mayoral forums, also. Ray Allen has stated that he feels the City should bear the cost of the officers in the school. He also has said that the Mayor’s office should be more involved with our schools and our neighborhoods. The poverty and crime in this City have got to be addressed. Our schools are greatly affected by the gang presence in this City. We have to have someone in office that isn’t afraid to address these problems and willing to truly admit they exist.

  • Phil M

    Larry:
    I don’t know if Black’s bill has been introduced, but of the revenue cap exemption ideas out there, this is one seen as having some (some, not a great deal) chance of passing.
    The two big ones being promoted are safety (police officers and the like) and bussing. For various reasons, the safety revenue cap exemption is seen as an urban, large-district, and thus Democratic idea; the bussing revenue cap exemption as a rural, small-district, and thus Republican idea. There is some speculation that the two parties might do the golf equivalant of two opponents facing equal-length putts and saying “good-good,” and let each side have an exemption. But, there is also very much some strong sentiment for not exempting anything, as some lawmakers believe it will open the floodgates.
    One exemption that Doyle I believe has proposed, and ought to get bi-partisan support, is one for teacher mentoring programs. Everyone needs to do teacher mentoring now, per the requirements of PI 34, and it seems all districts have an equal need to do it well.