Of the MTI-represented employees in the district, more than 50% take their health insurance with Group Health (the lowest cost of any of the HMO’s).
February 6th MEETINGS :
5 p.m. Finance & Operations Committee (Johnny Winston Jr., chair):
Report on the $100 Budget exercise in January 173 people participated in the exercise; their responses indicated that their highest priorities were: Academic Achievement and Specialized Services (special education, English as a Second Language).
Doug Pearson, in charge of buildings and grounds for the district, gave a presentation explaining that a combination of factors (drought in the Midwest, Hurricane Katrina and increased oil prices) have resulted in a huge increase in construction costs. As an example, when the district built Chavez (2000-01), construction costs were estimated at $85/sq.ft. today the estimate to build a new school is estimated to cost $162/sq.ft. These increases also affect all of the district’s maintenance projects.
6 p.m. Performance & Achievement Committee (Shwaw Vang, chair)
The Committee heard presentations about the elimination of tracking in the West High Biology course (begun in 1997) and in East High Algebra/Trig (started in 2004). In both cases the changes were the result of discussions by the teachers at the school and supported by staff from downtown. Likewise, both reported that they felt that they were serving all students more effectively and that their classes were more representative of the entire student enrollment. The Committee will continue looking at this topic.
7:15 p.m Regular Board Meeting:
Mostly routine business; the Board did approve hiring an architectural firm to plan for work on the East High patio roof.
NEXT WEEK’S MEETING:
February 13 (televised, McDaniels Auditorium)
5 p.m. Special Board Meeting discussion about the recommendations from the Memorial/West Task Force (the East Area Task Force recommendations will be discussed on February 27).
The Board will meet first with the entire Task Force to give them a chance to explain their work and their recommendations. Next there will be Public Appearances. After that there will be a discussion of information about the Doyle Building – possibilities for sale/leasing/remodeling to house alternative programs and costs of moving current staff elsewhere.
The Board will then discuss the Memorial/West Task Force recommendation to build a new school on the far west side and to build an addition onto Leopold. The Board will also have before it the wording for referendum questions. If the Board wants to put the building proposals on the April ballot it must act no later than February 17 (Friday of next week).
5:30 p.m. Finance and Operations Committee (Johnny Winston, Jr., chair) 5-year budget forecast; proposals from community agencies for after school activities.
6:30 p.m. Partnerships Committee (Lawrie Kobza, chair) continued discussion about a policy governing gifts/funds to support activities during and/or after school.
5:00 p.m. Legislative Committee (Ruth Robarts, chair) legislation that would increase the number of administrators who could be designated “at-will” employees; requirements for school district reports; requiring developers to pay fees to support the building of new schools.
5:45 p.m. Special Board Meeting: discussion of the East Area Task Force recommendations; the Task Force will have a chance to talk with the Board at the start of the meeting.
Carol Carstensen, President
Madison School Board
“Until lions have their own historians, the hunters will always be glorified.” – African Proverb