Mayoral candidate Ray Allen told 250 Rotarians Wednesday that he would pull cops out of the schools, but later told The Capital Times that is not what he meant.
Allen said after the debate that what he meant to say, as he has said numerous times before, is that he would pull the cost of funding the police officers in the schools out of the school budget and transfer it to the city budget. This might, depending on the latest school financing laws, allow the schools to free up roughly $280,000 to apply to educational programs.
That is not, however, what members of Downtown Rotary heard at the Monona Terrace mayoral forum featuring both Allen and Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.
As Rotarian Amanda Todd said, “As a mom, I was surprised to learn Allen plans to remove the cops from the schools.”
Allen’s misstatement came in response to a question from forum moderator Regina Millner about community safety being critical to recruiting and retaining businesses in Madison. In her question, Millner said the other major factor was the quality of the schools and remarked that the mayor had no control over the quality of the schools.
Allen, who served nine years on the Madison School Board, took issue with this assumption. “The mayor can be the champion of the schools,” he said.