But even those who might oppose a referendum should be in favor of board action at this point.
If the board moves now, the referendum question can be on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Because the presidential race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain is expected to draw a record voter turnout on that day, there could be no better point at which to assess the level of support for the school district in general and the current board’s strategies in particular.
Wisconsin has a great tradition of involving all taxpayers in the process of setting and supporting education priorities. We keep the decision-making process at the grass roots level. We elect school boards. We put major spending and building questions to the voters in the form of referendums. The system has worked well — even as state meddling in the structures of school financing has made things difficult. And it works best when referendums attract maximum participation.
Transcript & mp3 audio file: 7/28/2008 Madison School Refererendum Discussion.
Don Severson: Madison School District’s Financial Situation: Memo to the School Board & Administration.
Given the critical values briefly outlined above, it is premature at this time to make recommendations or decisions on a course or courses of action to seek more spending authority as a solution regarding the financial needs of the district. The groundwork for decision-making and the development of improved levels of public confidence in the Board and administration have to continue to be proactively matured for both short- and long-term successes in the district. We urge you to proceed carefully, firmly and in a strategic and progressive manner.