“No Surprises in School Budget, but Referendum Looms”

Tamira Madsen:

Facing a possible referendum and $9.2 million hole for the 2009-10 school year, no major alterations are anticipated to the school 2008-09 budget that will be finalized Monday by Madison School Board members.
When new superintendent Dan Nerad starts in July, referendum discussion will come to the forefront for the Madison Metropolitan School District. If Board members decide to propose a referendum, which could occur as early as November, they will request taxpayers consider overriding state-imposed revenue gaps so that services and programs won’t have to be severely slashed from the district’s budget.
In the meantime, only one administrative amendment and two Board amendments are on the agenda and approval is expected at the School Board meeting as superintendent Art Rainwater presents plans for the final budget of his tenure. Rainwater, who has worked with the district for 14 years — including the last 10 as superintendent — will retire this summer. Nerad will take over on July 1.
School Board members are well aware of the multi-million budget cuts looming for the 2009-10 school year, and Rainwater said he wasn’t surprised with short list of amendments.
“I think the overall intention for the Board from day one was really and truly to work to preserve exactly what we have,” Rainwater said during a telephone interview Friday.

Notes and links on the proposed $367,806,712 2008/2009 budget.
Three proposed budget amendments:

  • Limit Fund 80 spending to a 4% increase [19K PDF]
  • Limit Fund 80 spending to a 4% increase [19K PDF]
  • Increase technology purchases by $100,000 and reduced the reserve for contingency
  • Limit Fund 80 spending to a 4% increase [9K PDF]
  • Increase the Fund 80 tax levy by $60,000 for the Madison Family Literacy / Even Start Literacy Program [9K PDF]

Much more on Fund 80 here.