We have a great opportunity! On Monday March 6th, the Madison School Board will be considering four proposals for funding that have an opportunity to have a positive impact on the student achievement in our school district. These programs are community based after school and summer programming that can supplement students’ academic achievement in the Madison Metropolitan School District. These programs are not subject to the state imposed revenue limits. They are Kajsiab House and Freedom Inc., Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network-South Central Wisconsin (GLSEN), Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY) , and The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, Inc. (CHHI) . I am asking for your support to help fund these programs.
Kajsiab House and Freedom Inc. proposes to conduct culturally relevant programming for Hmong students to improve attendance and graduation rates. By working closer with both of these organizations, the MMSD can develop better communication and increase student achievement of Hmong students.
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network-South Central Wisconsin (GLSEN) intends to use funding to increase their capacity to decrease bullying and harassing behaviors in Middle Schools. They will do this by increasing the number of gay-straight alliances, workshops and conferences. GLSEN will also partner with the school district media channel, Wisconsin Public Television, and MSCR.
Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY) would like to continue and expand their “Children of Promise” program at Toki Middle School as well as giving financial aid to economically disadvantaged students as a part of the summer national talent search. This program is in response to identifying more students of color to participate in advanced placement courses and talented and gifted programs in the MMSD.
The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, Inc. (CHHI) has developed a comprehensive supplemental educational program for Black American students. The CHHI seeks to support the MMSD thru enhanced educational, counseling and intervention programming. This program will seek to prepare students for economic independence.
The leaders of these organizations Doua Vang, Cindy Crane, Ellie Schatz and Dr. John Odom, their staff, volunteers and board members are some of the finest people in this community and experts in their field. These programs have the tremendous potential to strengthen school and community relationships. The total amount of funding for these programs is $150,000.
School district community services monies also fund programs such as Centro Hispano, Urban League of Greater Madison, African American Ethnic Academy, Project Bootstrap and Madison School and Community Recreation all of whom work directly with students of color, economically disadvantaged youth, senior citizens and community based services.
Please be aware that the school board and district are under attack from people who believe that programs such as these are “driving up their taxes.” This is simply not true! Community services funding is included in this year’s community services budget, but hasn’t been allocated. However, because the district budget has already been passed, each proposal will need five votes from the seven-member school board.
I am asking for your support for these programs. Please consider doing the one of the following. First, if your schedule allows please attend the Monday March 6th school board meeting at 7:15 p.m at the Doyle Administration Building located at 545 W. Dayton Street. During this meeting, it will be very important to have people who support these programs and others like it to testify. Supporters can sign up at the McDaniels Auditorium and have 3 minutes to make a public statement. These comments should talk about all of the good things that can be accomplished through programming with the MMSD. If you can’t attend the meeting please contact the elected board and central administration via e-mail at email@example.com. Please take a few moments to write positive words to encourage the elected school board to fund these programs and support others like it.
If you have questions, comments or would like additional information please contact Johnny Winston, Jr. at 441-0224 (home), 347-9715 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org. If we work together, we can truly make a difference for our students in this community. Thank you.