When Gov. Jim Doyle announced last April that $366 million in federal stimulus money was headed for Wisconsin schools, the stated goal from Washington was to help children with disabilities and at-risk students in poor schools — “while stimulating the economy.”
But it’s unclear if the almost $12 million distributed to the Madison School District, with a third of that going to teacher training and coaching, will accomplish those goals.
“I think at the end of this period we will have spent a lot of money and I don’t know what we’ll have to show for it,” said Lucy Mathiak, vice president of the Madison School Board. “Professional development is a really nice thing, but how do you even measure the in-class result?”
About $1 million of the Madison district’s $11.7 million in stimulus money will buy technology for schools, welcomed by school officials. Programs for students with behavioral and mental health needs will be beefed up as well, and the district estimates about 40 new short-term jobs will be created.