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July 12, 2005

MMSD Staff Recommendations for Committee Goals

In response to my request, MMSD Legislative Liaison Joe Quick made the following recommendations for the Board Legislative Committee for 2005-06.

Q: What should be our core message to the legislature and other advocates?

A: I think our core message should be the need to re-examine school funding particularly, school funding/revenue limits, underfunded mandates (specifically, special ed. & bilingual) and tax fairiness (given that the property tax payers burden is 70% residential compared to 40%in 1946).

Q: What should be our calendar for meetings and activities?

A: This can't be determined until the committee decides its activities. the agenda the committee determines will dictate how often meeting is needed.

Q: What resources will we need to convey our messages effectively?

A: Our resources are "human" not financial. For example, fostering opportunities for Madison parent advocates to meet with parent advocates from say Racine, or Stoughton to discuss school funding issues would provide Madison parents/BOE members with a wider perspective.

Q: What will be the role of staff and what should be the role of Legislative Committee members and Board members?

A: To articulate the message of the need for tax fairness in order to prevent the annual ritual of cuts by school districts in order to comply with revenue limits.

Q: What should be our plan for building media support for our messages?

A: Let local media know about meetings with parent advocates from Racine and other communities and invite them to hear about the problems of school finance in OTHER communities.

Q: What barriers should we expect? (opposition from allies, positions of legislative majority, disconnect between MMSD calendar and legislative calendar, limits on the capacity of the Legislative Committee and Board of Education to commit time necessary for statewide organizing efforts???)

A: The barriers will be a Legislature that believes K-12 finances are adequate and posits that "tax fairness" is really just a "tax shift" and a governor and Legislature that campaigned for and was elected on a "no new taxes" platform. Certainly, the WI Manufacturers & Commerce will oppose and changes to the tax system unless the proposal provides another tax break.

Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005
From: Joe Quick
Cc: Art Rainwater, Carol Carstensen, Mary Gulbrandsen

Posted by Ruth Robarts at July 12, 2005 9:34 AM