Commentary on Madison Schools $18k/student spending priorities

Jennifer Wang:

Last November, the citizens of Madison supported a referendum to offset the drastic budget cuts forced upon our schools in recent years. The Madison Metropolitan School District has let class sizes expand for the past few years to cope with funding shortfalls. In this first budget cycle after the referendum, I ask the Madison School Board to use this money to reduce class sizes at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

The advantages of small class size are unassailable. Over the last decade, my three children have benefited enormously from the small classes at Midvale and Lincoln elementary schools. In 2007, when my daughter started kindergarten, she flourished in a class of 14 with enough additional support staff to produce a teacher/student ratio that rivaled any private school in the area. My children have spent their formative years in classrooms of between 15 and 18 with dedicated teachers who knew them well, who could assess their learning styles and differentiate lesson plans to meet their needs. These small classes allowed my children to thrive and set them up for success in middle and high school. Unfortunately, today many children in Madison’s schools, including some of our highest-poverty schools, are in classrooms that are much too large.

Madison’s budget and long term, disastrous reading results.

Midvale Lincoln.

MAP assessment results.