K-12 Governance: Proposal May Change Madison’s Non-Diverse School Governance/Choice Model

Molly Beck:

“We are confident the proposal can fundamentally transform the educational opportunities that are available to students in Wisconsin’s two largest school districts,” he said.

Delaporte pointed to Department of Public Instruction data that shows less than 40 percent of Madison students have tested proficient in reading in recent years — slightly higher than the statewide average.
But Madison School District superintendent Jennifer Cheatham blasted the proposal, saying in a statement: “We are incredibly determined, and we are making progress on behalf of all children. But at every step of the way, the Legislature puts more barriers in our way and makes our jobs more difficult.”

Madison School Board member Ed Hughes called the proposal “breathtaking.”

“It looks like the UW President is required to appoint someone who could then authorize as many publicly funded but potentially for-profit charter schools in Madison as that unelected and unaccountable person wanted,” he said.

The proposal requires DPI to reduce a school district’s funding by the same amount that is paid per student to independent charter schools, currently about $8,000.

Cheatham also said independent charter schools have no consistent record of improving education and drain school districts’ funding.

Madison has long tolerated disastrous reading results, despite spending double the national average per student.

A majority of the Madison school board rejected the proposed Madison Preparatory IB Charter School.