Commentary On Madison’s Ongoing Tax And Spending Growth; $494,652,025 Budget Spends Nearly $20k Per Student (Voucher schools operate on 60% less….)

Amber Walker:

On Monday night, in a 7-0 decision, the Madison School Board approved the district’s $494,652,025 preliminary all-funds budget for the 2017-2018 school year.

The Madison Metropolitan School District highlighted it’s balanced operating budget — representing $390,045,697 of the total funds — will result in a $15 per hour minimum wage for the district’s lowest-paid employees, a teacher starting salary of $41,096, an average 3.25 percent increase in across-the-board raises for staff and $5 million dollars in priority actions aimed at narrowing achievement gaps and raising student achievement.

The remainder of the budget — $104,606,328 — is used to fund construction projects, debt service, and food service costs across the district.

Props to Amber for leading with total spending.

The “no flexibility” statement below is incorrect. One can (mostly) restructure debt, change facility requirements and food practices.

Taxpayers fund all of this, so a complete picture is useful.

Karen Rivedal:

The board on Monday also approved what’s known as its “all-funds” budget, at $494,652,025, which includes the proposed operating budget. This fund captures all budget activity, including construction, food service and debt service, for which there is no flexibility in spending.

Not counting Mertz’s amendment, the total spending plan representing a balanced budget raises property taxes by an estimated 3.97 percent. The owner of a $258,367 home — considered average by the district — will pay a projected $3,108, an increase of $74 over the prior year.

District budget director Mike Barry said the district could know by July how much the $74 average increase could rise, as a result of Mertz’s amendment.

Madison spends more than most ( budget details here ), despite long term, disastrous reading results.

Wisconsin per student voucher data