Cullen: East / West Taskforce Summary

Sandy Cullen:

task force representing schools on Madison’s East Side has voted not to recommend closing any schools as a means of addressing declining enrollments in some elementary schools.
Instead, task force members are considering several possible recommendations for using available space in underenrolled schools, including moving Madison School & Community Recreation offices and programs from the Hoyt Building at 3802 Regent St., which the district could then sell. Other options include relocating the district’s alternative programs from rented facilities on Brearly Street and reassigning some students from the West or La Follette attendance areas to the East attendance area.
Task force member David Wallner said savings of $300,000 to $500,000 gained by closing a school would be offset by costs to bus students who now walk to school and by the negative impact closings would have on students, families and neighborhoods.
A similar task force addressing crowding in elementary schools in the West and Memorial attendance area has taken building a second school at Leopold Elementary off the table in favor of considering a new school on the far West Side, where large growth from new housing developments is anticipated.

2 thoughts on “Cullen: East / West Taskforce Summary”

  1. Interesting, don’t you think, that talk is of “taking consideration of a second school at the Leopold site off the table”, when in fact, there is not majority voter support for it (as evidenced by the referendum failure last year), for a variety of reasons? So, instead of dropping it because it was voted down, or people think it is a bad idea, they have simply “taken it off the table” on their own accord? Hmmm. What makes people so sure that a referendum to build out on the far-West edge will pass either? For some people (perhaps not a majority of those who voted the referendum down?), the point was that they thought we did not need another school at all. For others, it was the thought of adding ridiclously many more elementary age students to a site that already has more elementary-age students than any other school in the district – by a large number! Maybe this latter group would vote in favor of a new school in another location. But that location? I am not so sure that the support is there for building way out of town either.

  2. What an awesome idea!
    Wait until we’re bursting at the seams and all schools are at capacity!
    Annex in land (13,000 housing units & estimated 5,000 students), call it Madison and leave it up to them to find their own services!
    We don’t need to encourage them to stay.
    Let them go somewhere else…I mean, around 70-80 kids from that area “out of town” already attend other schools, costing us thousands ($$$$) in lost funding and increased taxes (see “Where Have All the Children Gone?).
    Isn’t that what happened in Fitchburg? Overcapacity, income disparity, and lack of support…
    Wasn’t the talk that better planning would have been to use land directly in Fitchburg?
    Wouldn’t a neighborhood facility have maintained families?
    That’s what Verona did…supported there district families (Stoner Prairie).

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