K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Another Madison Referendum in the works

Negassi Tesfamichael:

In 2015, Madison voters authorized a $41 million school facility improvement plan that addressed needs in 16 schools across the district.

“I think our schools need (upgrades), but at the same point, I don’t want to force someone out of their home, which I’ve seen happen to some friends in Middleton because they can’t afford the referendum,” School Board member Nicki Vander Meulen said.

Voters in the Middleton-Cross Plains School District approved a referendum last November authorizing $138.9 million for an expansion to its high school and a new intermediate school. Since 2013, eight referendums have been voted on and approved in school districts around Dane County, not including Madison.

“We haven’t made a major capital investment in 50 years,” said School Board member Kate Toews. “Our kids deserve fantastic educational spaces and certainly our families see new buildings going up around them.

Madison has supported a number of maintenance referendums over the years….

The lack of results lead to calls for an audit in 2010 for a 2005 referendum (I’ve not seen a Capital Times followup….)

We have long spent far more than most (now around $20k per student) despite tolerating long term, disastrous reading results.