Maya Cole, Board President & Beth Moss Board Vice-President, Via email:
The 2009-10 school year is over, and the Board is wrapping up a very busy spring 2010. After several months of hard work, the Board finalized the preliminary 2010-11 budget on June 1. For the second year in a row, the state legislature decreased the amount of per pupil state aid by 15%. This decrease in revenue, coupled with a decrease in property values in the Madison Metropolitan School District, created a much larger than usual budget shortfall. This year is different because unlike previous years when the Board of Education was not allowed to raise property taxes to cover the shortfall, this year the state gave the Board the authority to raise taxes by an extreme amount. The Board and administration have worked hard to mitigate the tax impact while preserving programs in our schools.
2010-11 Budget Details:
The Board approved a preliminary budget of $360,131,948 after creating savings of over $13 million across all departments in the district. This budget represents a decrease of over $10 million from 2009-10. The final tax impact on a home of average value ($250k) is $225. The Board made reductions that did not directly affect instruction in the classroom, avoiding mass teacher lay-offs as experienced by many districts around the country and state.
Other State action:
The School Age Guarantee for Education (SAGE) Act was changed from funding K-3 class sizes of 15:1 to 18:1. The Board is considering how to handle this change in state funding.
Race to the Top is a competitive grant program run through the federal government. The state of Wisconsin applied for Race to the Top funding in round 1 and was denied. The Board approved the application for the second round of funding. Federal money will be awarded to states that qualify and the MMSD could receive $8,239,396.
Board of Education Election:
Thank you for 6 years of service and good luck to Johnny Winston, Jr. Taking his seat is James Howard, an economist with the Forest Service and MMSD parent. New Board officers are Maya Cole, president, Beth Moss, vice president, Ed Hughes, clerk, and James Howard, treasurer.
Sarah Maslin, our student representative from West High School, will be off to Yale University in the fall. Thank you for your service and good luck, Sarah! Congratulations to Wyeth Jackson, also from West, who won the election for student representative to the Board of Education. Jessica Brooke from La Follette will return as Student Senate president and alternate to the BOE Student Representative.
In April the board received the following reports:
The Facility Assessment Report, a compilation of district maintenance needs over the next 5 years.
The Board of Education/Superintendent Communication Plan, providing a template for reports to the Board.
The District Reorganization Plan, a plan to restructure the administration and professional development department of the district.
The Board held a public hearing on the proposed budget at UW Space Place. In addition, the School Food Initiative Committee and the 4-K Advisory Committee met.
In May the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met. Stakeholders reviewed accomplishments achieved thus far and discussed and reprioritized action steps for the next year. A second public hearing on the budget was also held in May.
In June the Board finalized the Preliminary Budget after a statutory public hearing. During committee meetings on June 7, the ReAL grant team presented action plans for each of the large high schools and gave the Board an update on the ReAL grant and the Wallace grant. The four high schools have collaborated for the past two years to improve engagement and achievement at our high schools. The Student Services and Code of Conduct/Expulsions Committee presented a proposal for a new code of conduct and abeyance, with an emphasis on restorative justice.
Congratulations and good luck to all graduates! Have a safe and restful summer break.