Weekly Email Message

Carol Carstensen:

Parent Group Presidents:
The 2006-07 proposed budget is on the district’s web site (www.mmsd.org/budget). The Executive Summary provides an overview of the budget. The list of specific staff cuts is found on pages 3 & 4 of Chapter 3, Department & Division Reports.
None of the cuts are good for the district or for the education of our children but they are required to keep the budget in compliance with the state revenue caps. Since there is likely to be considerable discussion about the cut affecting the elementary strings program, I wanted to provide a little additional information. The administration is proposing to continue the current structure (strings once a week for 45 minutes) for 5th graders only. Additionally, there is a recommendation to have a committee of district staff and UW music education specialists develop a new approach for K-5 music that will include, for all students, experience playing an instrument.
There are forums on the budget scheduled for Tuesday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. at LaFollette and Tuesday, May 9 at 6:30 at Memorial.

5 p.m. Special Board Meeting: Newly elected Board Members were sworn in (this will be repeated at the Regular Meeting on May 1 at 7:15 when it can be televised).
Executive Session (Room 103): expulsions.
Open Session (McDaniels Auditorium) The Board gave permission to a group proposing a Studio Charter School to submit its application for a DPI planning grant. The Board authorized the sale of the most recent house built by the LaFollette Trades students. (We made a profit on this!!) We also agreed to sell a parcel of land to the city for use as the site of a new fire station. This parcel is a small part of the land we own at Sprecher Road and Wyalusing Drive; this land was purchased several years ago in anticipation of the need for additional schools as the area on the far east side builds out.
There was an extensive discussion on the bid for electrical upgrade work at Sennett. The discussion was to understand why the bid was so much higher than the original estimated cost. The administration explained that the increase was because: 1) the scope of the project was enlarged to include a second project that had been scheduled for a couple years later (it makes sense (and was cheaper overall) when we were closing down the school and tearing into ceiling and walls to do both projects together); 2) construction costs have gone up significantly over the last year; and 3) the RFP for the bid was not put out as early as it should have been due to loss of staff. The Board, after considerable discussion voted to accept the bid.
The administration presented the 2006-07 proposed budget and Board members asked for additional information and explanations. The Board will hold hearings over the next 2 weeks and also go over each area of the budget with the administration to get all questions answered.
Future Meetings: (The Board’s schedule can change so always check the website for the most recent schedule.)
May 1:
5:30 p.m. Special Board Meeting: Presentation of the 5 Year Long Range Plan; followed by the presentation of the proposed new Food Policy. The Board will create a subcommittee to consider the Food Policy and the views of the public, and come back to the Board with recommendations.
7:15 Regular Board Meeting: Formal swearing in of newly elected Board members; election of new Board officers. The agenda includes a proposal to restructure the Board’s Legislative Committee into an Outreach Committee which will focus on public communication and engagement and government relations.
May 8: (McDaniels Auditorium)
5:15 p.m. Special Board Meeting: Discussion of Board priorities, goals and challenges.
6 p.m. The Board will hold a forum to get public feed back on the plan CP 1a from Jan 23, on the website: www.mmsd.org/boe/longrange/ This plan describes the changes that will have to be made, if the referendum for doesn’t pass, to accommodate increasing numbers of students in the Memorial and West elementary schools.
Carol Carstensen, President
Madison School Board
“Until lions have their own historians, the hunters will always be glorified.” – African Proverb