Comments to School Board – Where Are You Putting Your Increased Revenue for Next Year, Why Do You Form Collaborations With Parents and the Community for Sports, Pets but after Four Years – Still Fail to Collaborate with the Community on Fine Arts?

Dear School Board Members,
Good evening. I plan to comment on the following � a) net reductions in classroom instruction budgets while the total budget grew this year, b) cutting elementary strings 100 % inequitably targets low income (minority) children and says you do not deserve what others in Madison have, c) limited options offered to the public and pursued by the board – fourth year that the board has not pursued with parents and the community ideas and possibilities for collaborations/partnerships for fine arts.
The budget discussion items document distributed last week is not a budget it�s only one option of cuts. The board needs to ask where the increased revenue dollars for next year will be spent and they need to ask for additional sets of budget cut options.
Annually advancing only one set of a seemingly random list of cuts out of context of where the money will be spent makes parents and voters skeptical about the board�s decisionmaking ability and this year public skepticism will threaten the passage of an operating referendum for instruction.
We may very well need money for instruction, but what do we need and what options can we pursue � referendum, private funds, grants for what Madison values. The current school board will not get people to vote for a referendum if what Madison values is threatened and important questions are not asked now. Voters will not have confidence in how and where the money is being spent and in how the board is protecting children�s learning and achievement through alternatives.
We cannot continue the path of current decisionmaking, because this board continues to lead us toward a narrow, conservative vision for public education bankrupting our children�s learning.
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