Board Ignores Fine Arts Teachers June Plea For Fine Arts Coordinator Academic Support � Instead, Board Adds Back $210,000 (4 athletic coordinators and 1 administrator downtown) Into the Extra-Curricular High School Athletics Budget
Board Ignores Fine Arts Teachers June Plea For Fine Arts Coordinator Academic Support � Instead, Board Adds Back $210,000 (4 athletic coordinators and 1 administrator downtown) Into the Extra-Curricular High School Athletics Budget.
After last night�s Board meeting, I became convinced that the current School Board is not acting to stop the continued erosion and degradation of the Fine Arts academic curriculum. As our City begins to enter a new arts phase, MMSD�s School Board seems out of touch with Madison�s values and what its Fine Arts teachers need to do their job.
Last night I attended my first school board meeting in nearly 3 months, and I was saddened by the School Board�s decision (6-1, Robarts opposed) to add back into the budget $210,000 for extracurricular high school athletic administration (5 FTEs). This money is coming from the District�s contingency fund, which is used to cover extra teachers that may be needed at the start of the school year. These 5 athletic FTEs in four high schools and the downtown office are part of the administrative team that would oversee the activities of the $2 million extra-curricular sports budget. For comparison, the former 0.5 FTE Fine Arts Coordinator oversaw more than 100 staff (less than $5 million budget for more than 20,000 participants) in 47 schools.
The 5 positions include the addition of .5 FTE which would make the downtown Athletic Coordinator a full-time position. Even though the Superintendent did not explain in his August 26, 2004 memo to the Board what this additional time would be used for, he said he needed to add back the time because he had committed to this person a two-year contract back on February 1, 2004! The appearance is that the superintendent couldn�t find an existing administration position for this person.
Before the decision was made to add $210,000 back into the extra-curricular athletics budget, I spoke during public appearances and asked the School Board if the District had looked at the workload surrounding the Fine Arts Coordinator. What professional will be reviewing the national standards, the state standards, the MMSD curriculum, training staff in two-year training, providing general support for more than 100 professionals in 47 schools with allocations as small as 0.1 in some schools.
Further, why wasn�t administrative and educational support for teachers in the Fine Arts being considered at the same time that other areas such as extra-curricular athletics was being considered? Nothing has been done on the need for coordination of the arts curriculum since last May. Art did say that he met with people to discuss the Fine Arts Coordinators workload. More importantly, though, what is being done and why did this take nearly three months to do? Teachers start classes on Wednesday, September 1st! Where�s the help?
According to the Superintendent, it seems there was a union contract issue regarding how the athletic administrative positions in the schools could be configured. Also, the Superintendent was concerned that no one would even want a position that was 0.4, less than a full-time position. Of course, that�s nothing fine arts teachers would know about � positions less than full-time!
The Superintendent did offer the School Board several options to choose from regarding extra-curricular sports administration with costs ranging from $0 – $210,000. Did the School Board pick the least expensive option offered by the Superintendent? No, the School Board chose the most labor-intensive, expensive option!
Did the School Board even direct the Superintendent to make the necessary personnel changes but keep the budget the same, working with coaches and parents to come up with workable solutions? No!
Teachers need a Fine Arts Coordinator � contact the school board and let them know that academics need support. Comments@madison.k12.wi.us .