I’ve attended a couple of the East / West Task Force Meetings (props to the many volunteers, administrators and board members who’ve spent countless hours on this) and believe that Wright Middle School’s facilities should be part of the discussion, given its proximity to Leopold Elementary (2.2 miles [map], while Thoreau is 2.8 miles away [map])
Carol Carstensen’s weekly message (posted below) mentions that Wright’s Charter is on the Board’s Agenda Monday Night. Perhaps this might be a useful time to consider this question? Carol’s message appears below:
Parent Group Presidents:
The state has backed away from its promises to support the special education services required by state and federal law. Originally the state promised to fund 63% of local costs for special education today the state funds about 28%; in 1993 when revenue caps were first imposed the state funded 45% of special education costs. If the state had kept its share at that level (45%) the district would not be facing the need for budget cuts every year.
Special Board meeting on Monday, November 28:
Madison Partners in Special Education, an organization of parents of special education children, talked with the board about:
· the lack of consistency between schools;
· their concern that not all teachers and principals have adequate training in working with children with special education needs;
· concerns that some of the budget discussions seemed to be pitting children and families against one another;
· their desire to work cooperatively with other parents and with the Board to ensure adequate funding for the district.
Some of the parents are also part of the district’s Parent Advisory Council and Board members talked about using that Council to communicate concerns about specific schools as well as highlighting schools which are doing an excellent job. I agreed that I would help the leaders of Madison Partners to connect with other parents who are concerned about the district’s budget constraints.
The second half of the Board’s meeting was devoted to looking intensively at the budgets for Human Resources and Business Services. These presentations will be available soon on the district’s website, www.mmsd.org click on Financial and then on Reports. I will summarize the information in a future email. The Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent for Business have created advisory committees for both Business Services and Human Resources. Professionals from the private sector and other governmental levels have agreed to serve and use their expertise and knowledge to help the departments become as efficient as possible.
Lastly the Board looked at a proposal from Virchow, Krause & Company to do a study of the administrative staffing levels in Business Services and Human Resources. The Board wanted to be sure that the study would help us determine what further budget cuts can be made without harming the ability of the district to carry out its legal and financial responsibilities. The administration will bring additional information about this in the next few weeks.
December 5th meeting schedule:
5:30 Legislative Committee (Ruth Robarts, chair) consideration of a charter school bill and also a bill on affordable health care.
6:15 Special Board Meeting renewal of the charter for Wright Middle School
7:15 REGULAR BOARD MEETING
Carol Carstensen, President
Madison School Board
“Until lions have their own historians, the hunters will always be glorified.” – African Proverb