If the vote goes as expected, the 2020-21 school year will be the first in more than two decades without a police officer stationed in each of the district’s comprehensive high schools.
Employee Handbook changes
Madison Teachers Inc. is organizing opposition to a set of proposed Employee Handbook changes that would change the rules around layoffs and surplus staff.
District administrators have asked the board to approve language that would eliminate seniority as the mechanism for layoffs and forced moves to other sites, instead using other to-be-determined standards evaluating performance. The changes would also allow for 30-day notice of layoffs instead of the annual May 15 layoff notices.
With the district considering a November operations referendum and the state still uncertain on its revenue losses from the pandemic, MMSD chief financial officer Kelly Ruppel told the board earlier this month she’s trying to create as much flexibility as possible for the months ahead.
That included an $8 million cut from last year already. Earlier this month board members agreed that cutting an additional $8.4 million to protect against the possibility of state cuts was a good idea. Doing so meant cutting the planned base wage increase for staff.
Ruppel said that means hitting pause on “any new spending, in order to maintain the most flexibility until we know more.”
The other option she offered to board members was cutting up to 92 staff positions. If the referendum is on the ballot and approved or if state cuts don’t happen, the district could add wage increases back in mid-year. Hiring for eliminated positions would be a bigger challenge.