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August 16, 2008

Madison School District's Financial Situation: Memo to the School Board & Administration

Thank you for engaging the community in such a meaningful way with the forums this week. I believe the forums were successful in that the participating citizens had the opportunity to openly ask questions, seek information and give suggestions for consideration. The information provided by Dan and Erik was clear and helpful. We believe, that with the actions of the board and administration in recent weeks, there is a new openness, a willingness for exercising greater due-diligence, and an openness to examine more fully the opportunities and challenges with fresh insights and strategies.

There is a challenging road ahead with very heavy lifting to be done to continue to more fully communicate with and engage the public in the decision-making process regarding the future of the district in the educational, business and financial elements. These processes are absolutely critical to charting the course toward more effectivenss in student achievement results and business management. At this point in time, the plans and communications provide greater hope for more effective decision-making. However, time is critical for these processes to evolve with hard evidence to show the public that serious steps are actually underway and are producing information and results in order to provide for clearer future options and enlightened decision-making.

Given the critical values briefly outlined above, it is premature at this time to make recommendations or decisions on a course or courses of action to seek more spending authority as a solution regarding the financial needs of the district. The groundwork for decision-making and the development of improved levels of public confidence in the Board and administration have to continue to be proactively matured for both short- and long-term successes in the district. We urge you to proceed carefully, firmly and in a strategic and progressive manner.

I am available and willing at any time to engage in discussion regarding these statements and recommendations.

Don Severson
Active Citizens for Education

Posted by Don Severson at August 16, 2008 6:33 AM
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