Voters just approved a $41 million spending referendum. Now the Madison Metro School District says it needs to cut $10.8 million to cover a deficit. This is after rewarding its unionized teachers and support staff with a 2.5% pay increase in the budget approved late last year.
Who is running this store? Hint: It ain’t the Koch Brothers.
The cuts will require eliminating 110 positions, mostly teachers. How does this help minority achievement?
The school board rushed to ratify union contracts four years ago while protesters were still camping overnight in the State Capitol. The district scheduled a special meeting on a Saturday morning with only the minimally required public notice. I attended that meeting, but the public — the three of us who found the meeting — were not allowed to speak. The contract required no teacher contribution to their generous health insurance coverage.
School districts that took advantage of Act 10 are not laying off teachers.
Madison is paying for this folly by collecting teachers union boss John Matthews’ dues for him. Some of that money finds its way back to finance the school board members’ election campaigns. Sweet deal for the union, wormy apples for the students and their families, self-tapping screws for the taxpayers.
I continue to find it fascinating that Madison plans to expand two of its least diverse schools: Hamilton and Van Hise, despite capacity elsewhere and the District’s long term disastrous reading results.