Madison School Board Continues Fall 2020 referendum tax and spending increase plans

Logan Wroge: Board members acknowledged the tough financial reality facing residents, but several members said the need to renovate aging school buildings and shore up the operating budget remains the same. “These are not things I think we should be putting off,” board member Ali Muldrow said during an online Operations Work Group meeting. “We … Continue reading Madison School Board Continues Fall 2020 referendum tax and spending increase plans

K-12 Tax, Spending & 2020 Referendum Climate: Mountains of Debt

Jon Hilsenrath: Student debt has become a heavier burden for households, and since 2007 it has tripled to $1.5 trillion, with large exposures among young individuals, according to Fed data. “We were talking about, when this is over, we want to downsize, maybe move into a townhome, being way more conservative in terms of major … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & 2020 Referendum Climate: Mountains of Debt

2020 Referendum Climate: Madison Tax Base Edition

Dean Mosiman: More than 70% of the city’s General Fund revenues come from the property tax, and nearly two-third of property taxes have already been paid for 2020, which brings some stability, Schmiedicke said. The city already imposed a $40 wheel tax for the current budget. But preliminary projections show an overall drop of 4%, or about $13 … Continue reading 2020 Referendum Climate: Madison Tax Base Edition

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 School District 2020 Referendum & Spending Plans

Logan Wroge: “I appreciate the cuts in central office because I want more people in the classroom,” said board member Nicki Vander Meulen. Ruppel said the proposed reduction of school staff, which would be about 35 positions across a district that employs 4,000 people, is in response to expected short-term drops in enrollment due to … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 School District 2020 Referendum & Spending Plans

Madison 2020 Referendum Climate: Taxpayers decide some states aren’t worth it

Ben Eisen and Laura Kusisto: The average property tax bill in the U.S. in 2018 was about $3,500, according to Attom Data Solutions, a real-estate data firm. But many residents in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California had been deducting well over $10,000 a year. In Westchester County, N.Y., the average property-tax bill was … Continue reading Madison 2020 Referendum Climate: Taxpayers decide some states aren’t worth it

Madison K-12 Administration & Board 2020 Referendum Rhetoric, Consulting and Planning

Documents from the January 11, 2020 taxpayer supported Madison School Board retreat: Administration slides (pdf) Hanover Research Consulting Summary (PDF) Hanover Research: duckduckgo www Illinois (!) Association of School Boards referendum summary (pdf) Much more on the planned 2020 taxpayer supported Madison School District referendum, here. 2019: Madison increased property taxes by 7.2%.

Madison School District projects loss of 1,100 students over next five years expected, yet 2020 referendum planning continues

Scott Gerard: Between now and the 2024-25 school year, the district will lose another 1,347 students, according to district projections. Since the 2011-12 school year when MMSD added 4-year-old kindergarten, the district has always had at least 26,000 students. Projections show it will drop below that in 2024-25 for the first time since. Projections from Vandewalle … Continue reading Madison School District projects loss of 1,100 students over next five years expected, yet 2020 referendum planning continues

Madison K-12 Achievement Data @ LaFollette 2020 Referendum Presentation

The presentation included assertions on redistributed state taxpayer dollars sent to Madison (2010 – 2019 data available here). The presentation did not mention total Madison K-12 spending , nor the implications of spending increase referendums on local property taxes and redistributed state taxpayer funds. In essence, the more a local school district exceeds state revenue … Continue reading Madison K-12 Achievement Data @ LaFollette 2020 Referendum Presentation

Commentary on Madison’s planned 2020 tax and spending increase referendum

Scott Girard: In the midst of economic collapse, the Madison School Board is likely to decide in June or July whether to ask taxpayers for additional funds through November referenda. But most board members stated their support for putting both questions on the ballot during a discussion Monday night. Each of the seven board members … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s planned 2020 tax and spending increase referendum

A look at the 2020 Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum

Annysa Johnson: Voter support for the Milwaukee Public Schools’ $87 million referendum was so widespread in the April 7 election, it passed in every ward but two, regardless of racial and socioeconomic makeup. That’s a dramatic and profound shift from 1993 when older, white voters overwhelmingly rejected the district’s last plea for additional funding. Any number … Continue reading A look at the 2020 Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum

2020 Tax & Spending Referendum Climate: Had Enough? Californians Turn Down Higher Taxes, Debt

Associated Press: The defeat Tuesday of the largest borrowing proposal in the history of California schools — $15 billion for repairs — has opened the question of whether Californian voters put a temporary halt to the growth of government debt because of the unsettled political scene, or because they are on the cusp of a … Continue reading 2020 Tax & Spending Referendum Climate: Had Enough? Californians Turn Down Higher Taxes, Debt

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Taxpayer Income, purchasing power and 2020 Madison Referendum climate

Oren Cass: 2/ Punchline: Popular perception is correct. In 1985, the typical male worker could cover a family of four’s major expenditures (housing, health care, transportation, education) on 30 weeks of salary. By 2018 it took 53 weeks. Which is a problem, there being 52 weeks in a year. Notes, links and some data on Madison’s … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Taxpayer Income, purchasing power and 2020 Madison Referendum climate

2020 Madison Tax & Spending Increase Referendum Planning: School Board Rhetoric

Scott Girard: During a board retreat Saturday to discuss strategies for both a capital and an operating referendum in April, board members generally agreed they wanted to vote in March — before board member Kate Toews’ term is over and a new board member takes her place. Toews is not running for re-election to Seat 6 … Continue reading 2020 Madison Tax & Spending Increase Referendum Planning: School Board Rhetoric

Civics: disinformation, “surveys” and Madison’s proposed 2020 tax and spending increase referendum

Michael Ferguson: In October 2019, select U.S. officials offered closed-door congressional testimony regarding their knowledge of events surrounding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Dr. Fiona Hill, a former adviser on President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, testified it was very likely Russian disinformation influenced the documents used to acquire a surveillance warrant on … Continue reading Civics: disinformation, “surveys” and Madison’s proposed 2020 tax and spending increase referendum

2020 Madison School District Referendum Climate: city tax and spending increases

David Blaska: It was what we thought it was. Madison is 10 to 1 opposed to the city’s $40 wheel tax, judging from the 2,000 pages [CORRECTED] of e-mails that flooded city hall from 250 individuals. Kudos to Chris Rickert of the WI State Journal for filing the open records request to get that info. … Continue reading 2020 Madison School District Referendum Climate: city tax and spending increases

Commentary on a planned 2020 Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 School referendum

Logan Wroge: If a new operating referendum is passed, the School Board could then permanently raise property taxes over the next four school years, potentially using all $36 million of authority. In 2016, voters passed a $26 million operating referendum, which similarly was phased in over four years, ending in 2019-20. Over the four years, … Continue reading Commentary on a planned 2020 Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 School referendum

Commentary on a proposed 2020 Madison K-12 Tax & Spending Increase Referendum

Logan Wroge: If voters were to approve a $150 million referendum, the owner of a $300,000 house — near the median-value home in the district of $294,833 — could have their property taxes increase by $93 annually, according to district estimates. A larger referendum of $280 million is estimated to raise property taxes on a … Continue reading Commentary on a proposed 2020 Madison K-12 Tax & Spending Increase Referendum

Spending more (referendum $) for the same in Milwaukee

Emily Files: But there is still the question of how MPS will be able to sustain new positions when it faces severe financial challenges. Those challenges include $170 million in deferred maintenance, a future loss of $24 million in state integration aid due to the ending of Chapter 220 program, and a possible cut in state … Continue reading Spending more (referendum $) for the same in Milwaukee

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Tax base and government income decline

Dean Mosiman: As a result, Rhodes-Conway is implementing actions including a hiring freeze on all positions with exceptions for essential services, additional review and approval for seasonal hiring, and a halt to purchasing of all nonessential supplies and services in order to reduce spending in the $341 million operating budget for this year. The revised … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Tax base and government income decline

Critics of Racine schools’ $1 billion referendum file legal challenge

Annysa Johnson: Opponents of the $1 billion referendum passed by the Racine Unified School District last month are asking the courts to intervene, saying hundreds of voters were disenfranchised when their ballots were rejected and that the recount was biased because it was conducted by the district itself. The referendum, which gives the district the … Continue reading Critics of Racine schools’ $1 billion referendum file legal challenge

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Groups Find “Common Ground” On Nearly $800 Billion in Cuts To Wasteful Federal Spending

National Taxpayers Union: In a report released Thursday titled Toward Common Ground 2020, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund laid out a set of over 50 bipartisan, cost-saving proposals for the federal budget totaling nearly $800 billion. Before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the U.S. was already on … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Groups Find “Common Ground” On Nearly $800 Billion in Cuts To Wasteful Federal Spending

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Freeze property taxes Local governments must consider cuts and furloughs too

Dave Cieslewicz: There have been no cuts, furloughs or reduced hours for municipal workers in the City-County Building or anywhere else in city government yet. It’s time for local governments in Dane County to make some cuts in response to the economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus epidemic. And, unfortunately, to be meaningful they’ll also … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Freeze property taxes Local governments must consider cuts and furloughs too

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Mnuchin Says No Bailout for States With Badly Managed Budgets

Saleha Mohsin: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said states that had poorly managed budgets before the Covid-19 outbreak sent their economies reeling should not be rescued by the federal government. “This isn’t just going to be a federal bailout of the states,” Mnuchin said early Tuesday on CNBC. “States that had specifically large expenses because of … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Mnuchin Says No Bailout for States With Badly Managed Budgets

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Millions of Credit-Card Customers Can’t Pay Their Bills. Lenders Are Bracing for Impact.

AnnaMaria Andriotis and Orla McCaffrey: Robert Rodriguez and Migdalia Wharton, a married couple in Orlando, Fla., have been out of work for more than a month and can’t afford to pay their credit-card bills. When they called Capital One Financial Corp. to explain, the bank told them they could skip their April payments. But they … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Millions of Credit-Card Customers Can’t Pay Their Bills. Lenders Are Bracing for Impact.

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Johns Hopkins’ stark economic outlook and planned cutbacks signal what’s to come for Maryland higher education

Liz Bowie & Phil Davis: As the coronavirus began shutting down universities and colleges in March, the financial hit for higher education began piling up. First came refunds of room, board and fees for students. Then universities needed to spend to enable students and faculty to move to online education. And all the while endowments, … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Johns Hopkins’ stark economic outlook and planned cutbacks signal what’s to come for Maryland higher education

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Local governments avoid employee furloughs, reduced hours during shutdown

Chris Rickert: Keillor was not aware of what union school security staff were doing, and district spokesman Tim LeMonds did not respond to requests for comment about what they and school custodians are currently responsible for. Madison school crossing guards, who work under Madison police, are on paid leave per a directive from the mayor’s … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Local governments avoid employee furloughs, reduced hours during shutdown

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Will States Owe Businesses Just Compensation for Forced Closures When the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Over?

Ethan Lamb: The spread of the coronavirus has prompted most states to issue orders mandating non-essential businesses to close and non-essential workers to stay home. These regulations, whether or not they are justified, will decimate small and large businesses alike (and indeed already are, in many areas). Loans are being made available to businesses, some containing a forgiveness option … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Will States Owe Businesses Just Compensation for Forced Closures When the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Over?

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum climate: Due To COVID-19, International Student Enrollment ‘Is Not Going To Slow Down—It’s Going To Shut’

Karen Sloan: Many international students want the experience of living and studying in the U.S. for a year or more and may be reluctant to sign up for online programs if university campuses remain closed in the fall, according to law school administrators. International travel restrictions could also hinder their ability to study in the … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum climate: Due To COVID-19, International Student Enrollment ‘Is Not Going To Slow Down—It’s Going To Shut’

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Massive layoffs and pay cuts are likely coming to state and local governments as federal aid goes elsewhere

Ylan Mui,Karen James Sloan: “The approaching state budget cuts … will cause the U.S. economy to contract further — making the economic downturn deeper and more protracted, causing many more people to lose their jobs, and magnifying the serious hardship we already see,” said Robert Greenstein, the think tank’s president. Roughly 20 million people work … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Massive layoffs and pay cuts are likely coming to state and local governments as federal aid goes elsewhere

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: The stock market downturn portends big losses for government pension funds—and billions in new obligations for taxpayers.

Steven Malanga: The sharp decline in financial markets will likely result in a huge setback to government-employee pension funds, which never fully recovered from the last recession. Though the accounting of these systems is more complex than ordinary municipal budgets, and the implications of market drops can take time to become apparent, a picture is … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: The stock market downturn portends big losses for government pension funds—and billions in new obligations for taxpayers.

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: “Wisconsin faces more than $2 billion in revenue losses due to skyrocketing unemployment”

Scott Bauer: Evers told Trump in a letter mailed Wednesday that Wisconsin faces more than $2 billion in revenue losses due to skyrocketing unemployment and other hits to the economy caused by the coronavirus. He signed the letter with the governors of Michigan and Pennsylvania, all Democrats. They asked Trump to work with Congress to … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: “Wisconsin faces more than $2 billion in revenue losses due to skyrocketing unemployment”

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: More than 2,100 U.S. cities brace for budget shortfalls

Tony Room: More than 2,100 U.S. cities are anticipating major budget shortfalls this year and many are planning to slash programs and cut staff in response, according to a survey of local officials released Tuesday, illustrating the widespread financial havoc threatened by the coronavirus pandemic. The bleak outlook — shared by local governments representing roughly … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: More than 2,100 U.S. cities brace for budget shortfalls

Milwaukee voters approve $87 million MPS referendum

Annysa Johnson: Milwaukee voters overwhelmingly approved an $87 million referendum to support their public schools, according to election results Monday. The referendum, the first for Milwaukee Public Schools in more than two decades, passed with about 78% of the vote in a chaotic — and historic — election conducted during a global pandemic that dramatically … Continue reading Milwaukee voters approve $87 million MPS referendum

Is the MPS Tax & Spending Increase Referendum Good for Milwaukee?

– via a kind reader. Milwaukee annual per student $pending: Public: just over $14K Charter: just over $9k Voucher: just under $9k “The problems have less to do with funding and more about policies and practices”. Mission vs organization. Madison’s taxpayer supported school district spends around $19 to 20K/student and is planning a substantial tax … Continue reading Is the MPS Tax & Spending Increase Referendum Good for Milwaukee?

More than $1.6B in school referendums on ballot as COVID-19 pandemic creates economic uncertainty

Logan Wroge: The passage rates of referendums have historically tended to track with the strength of the economy, said Anne Chapman, a senior researcher for Wisconsin Policy Forum. At the height of the Great Recession in 2009, voters approved 45% of school referendum questions, down from 60% in 2006, Chapman said. Notes and links on … Continue reading More than $1.6B in school referendums on ballot as COVID-19 pandemic creates economic uncertainty

Madison School Board eyes $317M facilities referendum, $33M operating referendum

Logan Wroge: The Madison School Board signaled support Monday for a $317 million facilities referendum and a $33 million operating referendum, setting up the board to finalize the ballot questions later this month for the November election. With several options on the table, board members expressed broad support for a slightly larger facilities referendum that … Continue reading Madison School Board eyes $317M facilities referendum, $33M operating referendum

Commentary on a 2020 Madison School Board Candidate appearance

Logan Wroge: Three candidates for an open Madison School Board seat aligned on several issues facing the school district while offering their own solutions to other topics during a forum Tuesday. The trio seeking the board’s Seat 6 — Karen Ball, Christina Gomez Schmidt and Maia Pearson — spoke of rebuilding trust between the community … Continue reading Commentary on a 2020 Madison School Board Candidate appearance

2020 Madison Superintendent Pageant: Gutiérrez hopes to be ‘uniter’ for Madison School District

Scott Girard: Are we able to be laser focused on a number of a initiatives?” Gutiérrez said. “When you really do the research, the most highly successful systems have just three or four initiatives that they’re focused on, and you can do them really well.” He also brings recent experience with one of the likely … Continue reading 2020 Madison Superintendent Pageant: Gutiérrez hopes to be ‘uniter’ for Madison School District

2020 Madison school board election: Candidate “suspends campaign”

Scott Girard: When he initially filed papers to run, Strong said he considers school safety and racial disparities in discipline and achievement to be the top issues facing MMSD. “We have to make sure that our schools are safe and that they’re safe learning environments for our kids to learn and for our teachers to … Continue reading 2020 Madison school board election: Candidate “suspends campaign”

Maia Pearson becomes first newcomer to announce 2020 Madison School Board campaign

Scott Girard: The Madison School Board seat left open by incumbent Kate Toews choosing not to run for re-election has a candidate. Maia Pearson, a Madison native who has three children in Madison schools, will run for Seat 6. She filed her declaration of candidacy and campaign registration statement with the city clerk Monday and … Continue reading Maia Pearson becomes first newcomer to announce 2020 Madison School Board campaign

Proposed Milwaukee Schools’ Referendum Could Cost State Additional $200 Million

Will Flanders: If a proposed $640 million referendum for Milwaukee Public Schools passes, local taxpayers won’t be the only ones on the hook. A referendum of this size would result in as much as $200 million additional dollars in state money to Milwaukee Public Schools. How does a local decision to raise their own taxes … Continue reading Proposed Milwaukee Schools’ Referendum Could Cost State Additional $200 Million

Commentary on Madison’s 2020 Superintendent Search

Scott Girard: School Board members adopted a “leadership profile” based on that feedback earlier this month. BWP reported the input indicated the community wants a visionary team-builder with experience with diverse populations and an understanding of the district’s commitment to high levels of academic achievement for all students. An educator’s background, student-centered, dedicated, sincere and honest person … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s 2020 Superintendent Search

Property taxes would spike under Milwaukee Schools’ referendum scenarios

Annysa Johnson: Providing Milwaukee Public Schools students with a top-of-the-line education could cost as much as $640 million more a year in operating costs alone, more than doubling local property tax bills, district officials and their financial advisers told members of MPS’ referendum task force. The figure appeared to shock at least some members of the … Continue reading Property taxes would spike under Milwaukee Schools’ referendum scenarios

Madison School Board floats Tax & Spending INCREASE via another operating referendum

Logan Wroge: The topic of an operating referendum came out of discussion on a potential 2020 facilities referendum, which could be as high as $280 million. “I love talking about the facilities referendum, it’s exciting, it’s new stuff,” Carusi said. “But without that operating-to-exceed referendum, we’re looking at a lot of difficult cuts and choices.” … Continue reading Madison School Board floats Tax & Spending INCREASE via another operating referendum

Commentary (seems to lack data…) on Madison’s K-12 Tax & Spending Increase Referendum

It is unfortunate two recent articles on the upcoming Madison School District tax & spending increase referendum lack data, such as: Total Spending for the current budget ($449,482,373.22 more) – about $18,000/student. Chicago spends about $14,336/student, Boston $20,707 and Long Beach $12,671/student. Historic Spending Changes (spending increases every year) Academic Outcomes vs. Spending Comparison with … Continue reading Commentary (seems to lack data…) on Madison’s K-12 Tax & Spending Increase Referendum

Madison high school students to be graded on pass/no pass; 3,000 students without internet (expensive K-12 system built for a long gone era)

Logan Wroge: Madison high school students will receive “pass” or “no pass” grades for the second semester as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts traditional schooling, while more than 10% of Madison students lack internet access needed to take part in virtual learning, district officials said Wednesday. With the aim of not penalizing students for circumstances out … Continue reading Madison high school students to be graded on pass/no pass; 3,000 students without internet (expensive K-12 system built for a long gone era)

K-12 Governance Climate: Oligarchy and Pestilence

Joel Kotkin: Recreating the Conditions for Autocracy Throughout history, crises – like the Covid-19 pandemic – have been ideal opportunities for expanding centralized control of life, ostensibly for our own good. We are already seeing the potential rise of a new police state and in some countries, such as France, a rising incidence of informers, conspiracy … Continue reading K-12 Governance Climate: Oligarchy and Pestilence

Expanding Taxpayer Supported Programs amidst long term, disastrous reading results

Scott Girard: The Madison Metropolitan School District could continue its expansion of the Community Schools program as soon as the 2021-22 school year. School Board members will receive an update on the program, which offers expanded services at four schools to help serve as a “hub” to their surrounding community, at a Monday Instruction Work … Continue reading Expanding Taxpayer Supported Programs amidst long term, disastrous reading results

Taxpayer supported Dane County Board joins the Madison School Board in ignoring open meeting laws

Chris Rickert: Groups of Dane County Board members have since 2014 been meeting privately and without any public notice to discuss government business — a practice that echoes private caucus meetings the liberal-dominated board has conducted in years past. Meetings between the board’s leadership and leaders of some of its key committees, first reported by … Continue reading Taxpayer supported Dane County Board joins the Madison School Board in ignoring open meeting laws

Madison School Board races starting to emerge as filing deadline approaches

Scott Girard: For the past seven months, Strong has been a program associate with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Strong said in an interview Thursday he considers school safety and racial disparities in discipline and achievement to be the top issues facing MMSD. “We have to make sure that our schools are safe … Continue reading Madison School Board races starting to emerge as filing deadline approaches

Commentary on the Madison School Board’s Superintendent Search Finalists

Scott Girard: The finalists are: •Matthew Gutierrez, the superintendent of the Seguin Independent School District in Seguin, Texas. He is a former interim and deputy superintendent in the Little Elm Independent School District and received his Ph.D. in educational leadership from Texas Tech, according to the district’s announcement. •Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, an assistant professor of … Continue reading Commentary on the Madison School Board’s Superintendent Search Finalists

Madison increases property taxes by 7.2%, despite tolerating long term, disastrous reading results

Ron Vetterkind: The Policy Forum report found just eight of the state’s 421 school districts account for more than a third of the $224 million increase in levies this year. Five of those districts with the largest dollar increases in taxes are the Madison, Sun Prairie, Middleton-Cross Plains, DeForest and Verona school districts. Wisconsin policy … Continue reading Madison increases property taxes by 7.2%, despite tolerating long term, disastrous reading results

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: The Millennial Urban Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive

Derek Thompson: T The idea that companies like Uber and WeWork and DoorDash don’t make a profit might come as a shock to the many people who spend a fair amount of their take-home pay each month on ride-hailing, shared office space, or meal delivery. There is a simple explanation for why they’re not making … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: The Millennial Urban Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive

Commentary on politics and racial preferences

John Fund: In 1996, Californians voted to end racial preferences at state universities. The Left has been fighting to restore them ever since. Rather than focus on COVID-19 or the economic recovery, California liberals insist on pushing their pet issues. The “stimulus” bill rammed through the House this month by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San … Continue reading Commentary on politics and racial preferences

Schools brace for budget cuts as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the economy

Maddie Hanna and Kristen A. Graham,: Budget forecasters have predicted states could take big hits in revenue as a result of the coronavirus slowdown — possibly upward of 15%, said Mike Griffith, senior school finance researcher and policy analyst at the Learning Policy Institute. Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office has projected a revenue shortfall of up … Continue reading Schools brace for budget cuts as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the economy

Survey: 35% of Wisconsin businesses could close permanently if shutdown continues for 3 months

Mitchell Schmidt: More than a third of Wisconsin businesses say they will be forced to shut down permanently if the state’s economic shutdown — implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19 — persists for more than three months, according to a new survey. The results come as Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order finds … Continue reading Survey: 35% of Wisconsin businesses could close permanently if shutdown continues for 3 months

K-12 tax & spending climate: We’ve Built Cities We Can’t Afford

Strong towns: In this sense, Kansas City, Missouri is no different than most communities in the United States and Canada. In the last 70 years, the physical size of Kansas City has quadrupled while the population has remained relatively stable. (Put another way, every resident of Kansas City is on the hook for maintaining four … Continue reading K-12 tax & spending climate: We’ve Built Cities We Can’t Afford

Christina Gomez Schmidt wins close Madison School Board contest; Nicki Vander Meulen reelected

Logan Wroge: As a member of the School Board, Gomez Schmidt, 48, is looking to prioritize the selection of a new, research-based reading curriculum for elementary students, building trust in the district with families, improving accountability and transparency, and effectively managing the budget. The 32-year-old Pearson had made finding ways to expand 4-year-old kindergarten to … Continue reading Christina Gomez Schmidt wins close Madison School Board contest; Nicki Vander Meulen reelected

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Madison School Board’s Reyes expects ‘robust conversations’ on referenda in April

Scott Girard: The referenda, as discussed earlier in March by the board, would ask voters to approve $317 million in capital expenses and $33 million for operating costs, phased in over four years. The capital referendum would fund renovations for the four comprehensive high schools, help the district build a new elementary school on the … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Madison School Board’s Reyes expects ‘robust conversations’ on referenda in April

Digital learning in the Milwaukee Public Schools

Annysa Johnson: As part of its plan, MPS intends to provide grade-level content aligned to state standards that students and families can access online. But the work will be voluntary and not used as part of the students’ grades. While many teachers likely will continue to interact with students online, they will not be required to … Continue reading Digital learning in the Milwaukee Public Schools

The Taxpayer Supported Madison School District offers info session on Behavior Education Plan Tuesday

Scott Girard: Those with questions about the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Behavior Education Plan have a chance to get them answered Tuesday. District staff will hold a session from 6-7:30 p.m. to discuss, “What is the BEP? How does it work? What should I know?” at the Goodman South Public Library, 2222 S. Park St. Speakers at … Continue reading The Taxpayer Supported Madison School District offers info session on Behavior Education Plan Tuesday

Madison School Board leans toward deductibles instead of switching health insurers

Logan Wroge: Increasing the amount staff pay for premiums would see teachers paying 6% of a HMO family plan — up from 3% — to about $44 more a month. Certain hourly employees, such as special education assistants, would pay 2.5% of an HMO family plan instead of 1.25%, or $8.53 more per month. Scott … Continue reading Madison School Board leans toward deductibles instead of switching health insurers

Employee health insurance, referenda discussions on Madison School Board agenda Monday

Scott Girard: The Madison School Board will discuss the potential November referenda and proposed employee health insurance changes Monday. The Operations Work Group meeting, which begins at 5 p.m. at the Doyle Administration Building, 545 W. Dayton St., is likely the last opportunity for board members to ask for broad changes ahead of anticipated votes … Continue reading Employee health insurance, referenda discussions on Madison School Board agenda Monday

Nine Area School Buildings Earn Commendable Or Better Rating On 2019 ESSA Report Card (a missing topic around Madison)

Nathan Konz: Last week, the Iowa Department of Education released the 2019 school ratings with nine of our area school buildings earning a “commendable” or better score. Each public school receives a score out of 100 based on standards laid out in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). South Central Calhoun High School was the … Continue reading Nine Area School Buildings Earn Commendable Or Better Rating On 2019 ESSA Report Card (a missing topic around Madison)

Notes and links on the Madison School District’s academic and safety climate

David Blaska: Board of education president Gloria Reyes demands “the conversation around school discipline needs to be centered on race,” according to the WI State Journal. Those who counter that school discipline needs to be centered on behavior will be asked to leave the conversation. Maybe the answer is pick out some white kids and toss them … Continue reading Notes and links on the Madison School District’s academic and safety climate

New Madison Schools superintendent’s $250K+ contract up for vote Monday

Scott Girard: The contract runs from June 1 to May 31 of the following year. The agreement would allow Gutiérrez 25 vacation days each year, 10 holidays off and up to 13 personal illness days. It will provide up to $8,500 for moving expenses as Gutiérrez and his family move from Seguin, Texas, and cover … Continue reading New Madison Schools superintendent’s $250K+ contract up for vote Monday

Commentary on School Choice and Madison’s K-12 climate

David Blaska: BULLETIN: Channel 3000 is reporting that “Several schools in Madison were on lockout status Wednesday morning because of a shooting, according to the Madison Metropolitan School District. Sennett Middle School, East High School, La Follette High School and Nuestro Mundo Community School were affected. When you don’t have facts or reason, you try to drown out … Continue reading Commentary on School Choice and Madison’s K-12 climate

Madison schools’ happy talk Cheat(ham)s black kids

David Blaska: A crusader has stuck his out out of the foxhole to take on the political correctness that is destroying Madison’s public schools. We introduced him to you Blaska Policy Werkers two weeks ago. He is Peter Anderson, an environmental activist.  Peter has put up a website called “Durable Justice.” Bookmark it. (We’ll wait. Got it?) Anderson … Continue reading Madison schools’ happy talk Cheat(ham)s black kids

Nearly half of the Palmyra-Eagle school board quits following the ruling that the district won’t dissolve

Bob Dohr: Three of the seven members of the Palmyra-Eagle Area School Board, including the president and vice president, have resigned following the state’s denial of the district’s dissolution attempt. School board president Scott Hoff, vice president Tara Bollmann and clerk Carrie Ollis announced their resignations at the Jan. 14 board meeting, effective at the … Continue reading Nearly half of the Palmyra-Eagle school board quits following the ruling that the district won’t dissolve

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: The middle-class rebellion

Joel Kotkin: Recently these policies have been propelled by largely flawed notions that increasingly high density would make housing cheaper and produce lower GHG emissions. Actually, the densest places with the strongest regulation are almost always those with the highest levels of unaffordability. Yet it is in the energy arena where “green policies” have solicited … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: The middle-class rebellion

Commentary on a Madison style (non independent) charter school: Badger Rock

Scott Girard: A team of reviewers for the school’s charter found it “fails to meet expectations” in seven criteria, “meets expectations” in 29 and “exceeds expectations” in two. The fails to meet expectations criteria include being below the enrollment required by the current contract, 120. This year the school has 97 students enrolled. In the … Continue reading Commentary on a Madison style (non independent) charter school: Badger Rock

Commentary on Madison Schools’ Quietly spending taxpayer’s $4M

Logan Wroge: The plan didn’t become publicly available until Friday afternoon, when the meeting agenda was posted online. Does the analysis include space in other facilities? The District expanded some of its least diverse schools (Van Hise and Hamilton) several years ago, when space was available in other nearby schools. The Madison school district is … Continue reading Commentary on Madison Schools’ Quietly spending taxpayer’s $4M

Beware Warren’s ‘Madisonian’ Plan for Public Education

CJ Szafir and Cori Petersen Of the Wisconsin school districts with an achievement gap, Madison’s is one of the worst. According to 2018-19 Forward Exam scores, only 34.9% of Madison students are proficient in English, well below the statewide average of 40.9%. But in Madison only 10% of African-American students are proficient in English, compared … Continue reading Beware Warren’s ‘Madisonian’ Plan for Public Education

Transparency in Madison’s $500M+ Taxpayer Supported K-12 School District: Open Records Suppression edition

Scott Girard: An anonymous Madison School District resident is suing the district over its refusal to provide records in response to 26 requests made over a three-and-a-half month period earlier this year. The John Doe is being represented by attorney Tom Kamenick, the president and founder of the Wisconsin Transparency Project. The lawsuit filed Nov. 14 … Continue reading Transparency in Madison’s $500M+ Taxpayer Supported K-12 School District: Open Records Suppression edition

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Government Tax, spending and borrowing practices.

Alexandra Stevenson and Cao Li Local governments borrowed for years to create jobs and keep factories humming. Now China’s economy is slowing to its weakest pace in nearly three decades, but Beijing has kept the lending spigots tight to quell its debt problems.  In response, a growing number of Chinese cities are raising money using hospitals, schools and other institutions. Often … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Government Tax, spending and borrowing practices.

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Property Tax Assistance

Joe Tarr: City property taxes for their home are about $5,000 a year. “That’s a whole chunk of our total income, because our only income is Social Security,” he says. But then they discovered a little-known city program for people in their situation. The “property tax assistance for seniors reverse mortgage loan program” allows seniors … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Property Tax Assistance

Commentary on temporary madison school board memBer appoIntment, replacing Mary Burke

Logan Wroge: The temporarily six-person School Board is scheduled to decide Monday who will join the body for a nine-month stint. During that time, the board will hire a permanent superintendent and work on a potentially large November 2020 facilities referendum. Those interested in the appointment have until 4 p.m. Friday to apply for the … Continue reading Commentary on temporary madison school board memBer appoIntment, replacing Mary Burke

Commentary on The taxpayer supported Madison School Board’s GoVernance Plans: Replacement member and SuperintendenT search

Negassi Tesfamichael: “Given that Mary will not be attending any future meetings, I do feel a sense of urgency in getting this filled,” Reyes said. “I don’t want to move forward through some of the important discussions and decisions we’ll have to make … so i think it is going to be imperative that we … Continue reading Commentary on The taxpayer supported Madison School Board’s GoVernance Plans: Replacement member and SuperintendenT search

Spending, achievement, taxes and Madison’s school climate

Naegassi Tesfamichael: The School Board will also soon be the public face of a facilities referendum that MMSD is eyeing for the November 2020 election. The proposed facilities upgrades currently focus on East, La Follette, West and East high schools, which have an average age of 75 years old and have been identified as having … Continue reading Spending, achievement, taxes and Madison’s school climate

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: a planned Madison tax increase for bricks and mortar? Will space utilization and attendance boundaries be addressed first? 1% spent on maintenance

Logan Wroge: Wiese said the district has an annual maintenance budget of about $5.4 million for 4.5 million square feet of space. The high schools alone have deferred maintenance needs of $154 million, according to a study completed in 2017. In 2015, district voters overwhelmingly passed a $41 million facilities referendum targeting improvements in 16 … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: a planned Madison tax increase for bricks and mortar? Will space utilization and attendance boundaries be addressed first? 1% spent on maintenance

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate & Local Property Tax Increase Rhetoric

Walter Alarkon:

President Barack Obama’s budget will lead to deficits averaging nearly $1 trillion over the next decade, the CBO estimated Friday.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said President Barack Obama’s budget would lead to annual deficits averaging nearly $1 trillion for the next decade.
The estimates are for larger deficits than the budget shortfalls expected by the White House.
Annual deficits under Obama’s budget plan would be about $976 billion from 2011 through 2020, according to a CBO analysis of Obama’s plan released Friday.

Susan Troller:

Madison school ‘budget gap’ really a tax gap
Try “tax gap” or “revenue problem.” These are terms that Superintendent Dan Nerad — who is slated to offer his budget recommendations to the School Board on March 8 — and other school district players are starting to use to describe the financial troubles the district is facing.
What’s commonly been defined as the district’s budget gap in the past — the difference between the cost to continue existing programs and salaries and what the district is allowed to tax under state revenue caps — is actually $1.2 million. That’s the amount the district would still have to cut if the board were willing to tax to the maximum amount allowed under the state revenue limits. (And in past years, Madison and almost every other district in the state have taxed to the limit.) But if you add in the drop in revenue from the state — about $17 million for the 2010-2011 budget — the gap grows to $18.2 million.
It’s fair to ask then, what makes up the other $11.6 million that the administration calls the $29.8 million 2010-2011 budget gap? In a rather unorthodox manner, Nerad and company are including two other figures: $4 million in levying authority the district was granted through the 2008 referendum and $7.6 million in levying authority within the revenue limit formula.
Confused? You’re not alone. It’s got many folks scratching their heads. But the bottom line is this: Although the district has the authority to raise property taxes up to $312 on an average $250,000 home, it’s unlikely the board would want to reap that amount of revenue ($11.6 million) from increased taxes. Large property tax hikes — never popular — are particularly painful in the current economy.

The Madison School District has yet to release consistent total spending numbers for the current 2009/2010 budget or a total budget number for 2010-2011. Continuing to look at and emphasize in terms of public relations, only one part of the puzzle: property taxes seems ill advised.
The Madison School District Administration has posted 2010-2011 “Budget Gap” notes and links here, largely related to the property tax, again. only one part of the picture. For reference, here’s a link to the now defunct 2007-2008 Citizen’s Budget.
Doug Erickson has more:

Madison school administrators laid out a grim list of possible cuts big and small Friday that School Board members can use as a starting point to solve a nearly $30 million hole in next year’s budget.
The options range from the politically painless — restructuring debt, cutting postage costs — to the always explosive teacher layoffs and school closings.
But the school-closing option, which would close Lake View, Lindbergh and Mendota elementary schools on the city’s North Side as part of a consolidation plan, already appears to be a nonstarter. A majority of board members said they won’t go there.
“It’s dead in the water for me,” said Lucy Mathiak, board vice president.
President Arlene Silveira said the option is not on the table for her, either. Ditto for board members Marj Passman and Maya Cole, who said she immediately crossed out the option with a red pen.
Board members could decide to raise taxes enough to cover almost all of the $30 million, or they could opt to not raise taxes at all and cut $30 million. Neither option is considered palatable to board members or most residents, so some combination of the two is expected.