Benjamin Studebaker: The University and College Union (UCU)–Britain’s trade union for academics–has gone on strike. The strike is about the University Superannuation Scheme (USS)’s decision to switch academics from “defined benefit” pension plans to “defined contribution” plans. As a PhD student at Cambridge I write this piece at home, having skipped a couple events I … Continue reading The British Academic Strike is a Crucial Struggle that Must Be Won: Part I, Pensions; Madison spent 25% of 2014-2015 budget on benefits
Swinn: Premiums for employment-based health insurance this year will average about $6,400 for single coverage and $15,500 for family coverage, according to projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation. In a new report, the CBO says average premiums for individually purchased insurance are also high, although not quite as … Continue reading K-12 Tax And Spending Climate: Report Warns of Rising Health Insurance Premiums (25% Of Madison’s 2014-2015 Budget Spent On Benefits)
Chris Rickert: It’s no surprise Democratic nominee for governor and Madison School Board member Mary Burke isn’t saying how she plans to vote Monday on a proposed school district budget that includes a $100 tax increase for the average homeowner. For purely political reasons, dropping that particular dime would be a pretty dumb thing to … Continue reading Madison Schools’ 2014-2015 Budget a No No for Governor Candidate Burke
Molly Beck: Mary Burke faces a key vote on the Madison School Board on Monday a week before the gubernatorial election: whether or not to back a $454 million budget that raises taxes and delivers a 1 percent base pay raise to teachers. Burke, challenging incumbent Gov. Scott Walker in a tight race, declined Tuesday … Continue reading Elections, Rhetoric & Madison’s Planned $454,000,000 2014-2015 Budget That Features a 4.2% Property Tax Increase
Chad Alderman, via a kind reader: The Census Bureau’s latest Public Education Finances Report is out, and it shows that employee benefits continue to take on a rising share of district expenditures. The table below uses 20 years of data (all years that are available online) to show total current expenditures (i.e. it excludes capital … Continue reading Teacher Benefits Still Eating Away at District Spending; 25.8% of Madison’s $402,464,374 2014-2015 budget
The Madison School District (600K PDF): This is the fourth and final installment of the series of updates designed to keep the board informed during the 2014-15 MMSD budget development process. The first update reviewed the budget process, priorities, and expected revenues. The second update explained our goals for a school-based staffing process that was … Continue reading Madison Schools’ 2014-2015 Budget Update; Assumes 16% Increase in Redistributed State Tax Dollars, 2.11% Property Tax Growth; About $400,000,000 for 27,186 students
This budget forecast and those that will follow are intended to keep the board informed as the budget development process unfolds. The forecasts also provide an opportunity for board discussion and input into important budget development issues.
MMSD’s Strategic Framework establishes the direction of the school district. The framework is supported by the annual budget, which is simply the resource strategy behind the Strategic Framework. The budget process begins with a thorough review of district priorities, current spending patterns, and outcomes. The zero- based budget process requires a critical examination of all budget practices and how those practices influence resource deployment.
Based upon our budget work thus far, we believe there are opportunities to make the staffing process more responsive to individual school needs, to shift non- personnel resources from central office budgets to school budgets, and to improve budget accuracy by clarifying and simplifying account structures. We’re excited to explore these and other opportunities throughout the 2014-15 budget process.
Zero-based Approach to Budget Development:
A zero-based approach is being used to develop the expenditure budget. Unlike an ‘historical cost’ budget or a ‘cost to continue’ budget, the zero-based process is intended to go beyond marginal refinements of existing budgets and existing structures.
For example, MMSD has used essentially the same staffing allocation process for over ten years under the ‘cost to continue’ approach, with only minor modifications along the way. While the existing allocation process is uniform and consistent, it can be improved by making it more responsive to the challenges presented by individual schools. The senior leadership team, with input from the principals, is assessing the staffing allocation process this month before any allocation decisions are put into motion in February.
The existing staff allocation process consists of a series of departmental layers, with separate staffing allocations for regular education, special education, Title 1, OMGE, pupil services, PBS, etc. We are hopeful that a more integrated and responsive staffing allocation process, beginning this year and refined continuously in subsequent years, will produce a more tailored fit for each school. The zero-based approach is designed to uncover such opportunities.
The zero-based process also includes in-depth reviews of each central office department. We are particularly interested in identifying inter-departmental overlaps, gaps, and even redundancies. We are optimistic that this effort will produce new efficiencies and help push resources from the district office into the schools.
Strategic Priorities Drive the Budget:
The resource decisions contained in the annual budget are subject to continuous review, either directly through the zero-based budget process, or indirectly through the SIP process, district surveys, targeted studies (such as the Principal Pipeline study [PDF] and High School Reform study), and several active advisory committees. These are the sources which inform the budget development process.
The Strategic Framework identifies five key priorities which are aimed at providing schools with the tools, processes and resources they need to serve children and their families better than ever before. The five priorities are: (1) Coherent Instruction, (2) Personalized Pathways, (3) Family and Community Engagement, (4) A Thriving Workforce, and (5) Accountability at All Levels.
Each of the priorities in the Strategic Framework includes a set of high-leverage actions that have cost implications. A preview of some of the major actions with cost implications, organized by Priority Area, will be developed and refined throughout the budget development process. A preview of the major actions will be presented to the Operations Work Group along with this Budget Forecast.
The word cloud is interesting, particularly in light of the District’s job number one, addressing its long term disastrous reading results.
Related: numerous links on the District’s 2013-2014 budget, here. Madison spends about twice the national average per student ($15k).
Daniel DiSalvo: This report argues that underfunded defined-benefit pension plans and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) are the hidden drivers of labor unrest in the public sector. As these legacy costs have risen, teacher salaries have flatlined or even declined in value. Policy recommendations: In the name of equity and affordability, states should move away from … Continue reading Teacher Strikes and Legacy K-12 (benefit) Costs
Max Roser: The graph below shows the relationship between what a country spends on health per person and life expectancy in that country between 1970 and 2015 for a number of rich countries. The US stands out as an outlier: it spends far more on health than any other country, yet the life expectancy of … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Link between health spending and life expectancy: US is an outlier
Johns Hopkins: The United States, on a per capita basis, spends much more on health care than other developed countries; the chief reason is not greater health care utilization, but higher prices, according to a study from a team led by a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researcher. The paper appears in the … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: U.S. Health Care Spending Highest Among Developed Countries
Wall Street Journal: In Kentucky the protests have been about pensions, not pay, but the same Medicaid crowding out is taking place. The Bluegrass State was one of the first Medicaid expansion states under ObamaCare. Some 22% of residents—more than two million people—are enrolled. In 2008 Medicaid spending in Kentucky was $4.9 billion, but by … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Pensions, Benefits, Teacher Salaries and Politics
Annys Johnson: The school board’s Committee on Accountability, Finance and Personnel will take up two other cost-saving proposals on Tuesday, including one to restructure employee health care benefits. According to the administration’s analysis, that proposal would save up to $17.4 million by: Eliminating coverage of spouses who have access to insurance elsewhere or charge employees … Continue reading Milwaukee schools braces for bruising budget battle; busing services, health care benefits could be pared
Sarah Kliff: On September 28, 2016, a 3-year-old girl named Elodie Fowler slid into an MRI machine at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California. Doctors wanted to better understand a rare genetic condition that was causing swelling along the right side of her body and problems processing regular food. The scan took about … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending climate: Opaque and sky high bills are breaking Americans — and our health care system.
Molly Beck: If approved, the referendum would raise property taxes about $62 on the average $237,678 Madison home for 10 years. The district is still paying off $30 million in referendum debt for the construction of Olson and Chavez elementary schools in the late 2000s, according to the district. The final payment, for the Olson … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s April 7, 2015 Maintenance Referendum; District spending data remains MIA
Blandine Parchemal: The University of Berlin model, developed by the philosopher Schleiermacher, went against the more specialized ethos of the medieval universities. Twice a month, Le Devoir challenges lovers of philosophy, history and the history of ideas to decipher a current issue by relying upon an important thinker’s theories. Last September, the Liberal government announced … Continue reading Restating the Case for General Education
Frank Bruni: More than halfway through Joel Klein’s forthcoming book on his time as the chancellor of New York City’s public schools, he zeros in on what he calls “the biggest factor in the education equation.” It’s not classroom size, school choice or the Common Core. It’s “teacher quality,” he writes, adding that “a great … Continue reading On Teacher Quality (Status Quo in Madison)
Madison School District PDF: For MMSD, the most important aspect of multi-year budget planning is the careful use of ‘unused tax levy authority’ which can be carried forward from one year to the next. For 2014-15, the budget has available just over $8.8 million of ‘unused tax levy authority’ which was carried forward from 2013-14.1 … Continue reading Madison’s Planned Tax & Spending Growth Documents: Redistributed State Tax Dollars up 20.6% Since 2011!
Molly Beck: Whether the district will need to scale back its planned spending for the 2014-15 school year is a “good question,” Howard said. “I’m not sure what it means.” McCarthy said Madison’s aid has only hit the $60 million mark once, during the 2008-09 school year when total state aid levels peaked at $4.7 … Continue reading An Update On Redistributed Wisconsin Tax Dollars for K-12 Budgets
Molly Beck There’s been little movement since mid-March when Madison School District Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham proposed asking voters in November for $39.5 million in borrowing to upgrade facilities and address crowding. The proposed referendum’s annual impact on property taxes on a $200,000 Madison home could range from $32 to $44, according to the district. After … Continue reading Trial Balloon on Raising Madison’s Property Taxes via another School Referendum? Homeowners compare communities…..
We recommend adopting a Preliminary Budget for 2014-15 which includes the budget changes recorded in the companion document MMSD 2014-15 DPI Recommended Format for Budget Adoption. The changes are related to student fees and technology. With this recommendation we restate our strategy to address health insurance, salaries, and tax levy as a package in the … Continue reading An update on Madison’s 2014-2015 $402,464,374 budget
Tap the chart to view a larger version. A few slides from the School District’s fourth 2014-2015 budget presentation to the Board: I am surprised to see Physician’s Plus missing from the healthcare choices, which include: GHC, Unity or Dean. The slides mention that the “Budget Proposal Covers the First 5% of Health Insurance Premium … Continue reading Madison’s Property Taxes Per Capita 2nd Highest in WI; 25% of 2014-2015 $402,464,374 Budget Spent on Benefits
My simple thoughts on Madison’s latest Superintendent, Jennifer Cheatham: How is the new Superintendent Doing? Our community faces several historic challenges: Despite spending double the national average per student, Madison’s reading results are a disaster. The Superintendent has been talking about this and there are indications that at least administrative attention to this urgent problem … Continue reading Madison’s Latest Superintendent, one year hence: Deja Vu?
The Madison School Board Act 10 duckduckgo google wikipedia Madison Teachers, Inc. Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter (PDF), via a kind Jeannie Kamholtz email:: School Board Decisions on Employee Health Insurance Contributions Could Further Reduce Wages Under MTI’s various Collective Bargaining Agreements, the District currently pays 100% of the health insurance premiums for both single … Continue reading 25.62% of Madison’s $402,464,374 2014/2015 budget to be spent on benefits; District’s Day of Teacher Union Collective Bargaining; WPS déjà vu
Elaine S. Povich State Sen. David Argall thinks Pennsylvania’s law to fund schools with property taxes, which dates from the 1830s, has outlived its usefulness. He is pushing a bill that would eliminate property taxes levied by school districts and replace the revenue with higher state income and sales taxes. For the first time, his … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: States Grapple With Unpopular Property Taxes; Madison Seeks Continue Annual Increases; Chicago to Fund Pension Deficits
Alan Gottlieb & Kate Schimel: When the Saturday morning meeting about proposed changes to George Washington High School’s International Baccalaureate program got off to a raucous, even unruly start in the school library, a mixed group of IB and non-IB students decided to take matters into their own hands. As angry parents who had expected … Continue reading Proposed changes to storied IB program roil Denver high school
The Madison School District (3MB PDF): Five Priority Areas (just like the “Big 10”) but who is counting! – page 6: – Common Core – Behavior Education Plan – Recruitment and hiring – New educator induction – Educator Effectiveness – Student, parent and staff surveys – Technology plan 2014-2015 “budget package” 3MB PDF features some … Continue reading Madison Schools’ 2014-2015 $402,464,374 Budget Document (April, 2014 version)
As we all prepare for the Napolitano era, the Regents are heading to their favorite meeting place at UCSF (safe from undergraduates) with time to stop off at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. There are any number of items to be discussed but first and foremost is the question of the UC budget. There the crucial meeting is Wednesday’s Finance Committee Session. Among other items, the Finance Committee is to hear about the long-range budget plan, the expected 2014-2015 budget, and the wondrous accomplishments of the “working smarter initiative.” Although we won’t know in detail what UCOP is proposing until they actually make their presentations, it is possible to see the general strategies and narratives that UCOP is proposing for budgetary planning and decision-making.
As ever, UCOP appears not to know what it wants to say; as a result it continues to alternate in what it is asking of the State and from the University community. But appearances can be deceiving.
If you turn the budget presentations into a narrative it would go something like the following:
After long years of budgetary cuts, Governor Brown has, through his handling of the state’s debt, his success in achieving passage of proposition 30, and his willingness to commit to a series of funding increases over the next several years succeeded in staunching the bleeding of budget cuts. In the new state budget UC’s general fund increases total $256M in unrestricted funds although $125M of those go for a tuition buy-out. In this way, the state is now in the words of OP: “signify the welcome, necessary return of the State to being a true partner with UC.” (3) BUT this “true partnership” is, notable for its stability more than its adequacy. Indeed, at the heart of OP’s narrative is the argument that although the State has agreed to helpful increases in funding it is also preventing the University from functioning properly by restricting its ability to raise tuition.