Don Severson, via email:
Attached is the Active Citizens for Education statement regarding the MMSD Board of Education and Administration actions related to the Governor’s Budget Repair Bill.
Here is the link to the video of the MMSD Board meeting on 02/14/11
http://mediaprodweb.madison.k12.wi.us/node/601 go to the 9:50 minute mark for Marj Passman.
Letters from the Board and Superintendent to Governor Walker are accessible from the home page of the MMSD website.
Glaringly, there is no leadership from the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education nor administration for the overall good of the community, teachers nor students as evidenced by their actions the past few days. Individual Board members and the Board as a whole, as well as the administration, are complicit in the job action taken by teachers and their union. The Board clearly stepped out of line. Beginning Monday night at its Board meeting, Board member Marj Passman took advantage of signing up for a ‘public appearance’ statement as a private citizen. She was allowed to make her statement from her seat at the Board table instead of at the public podium–totally inappropriate. Her statement explicitly gave support to the teachers who she believed were under attack from the Walker proposed budget repair bill; that she was totally in support of the teachers; and encouraged teachers to take their protests to the Capital. Can you imagine any other employer encouraging their employees to protest against them to maintain or increase their own compensation in order to help assure bankruptcy for the organization or to fire them as employees? All Board members subsequently signed a letter to Governor Walker calling his proposals “radical and punitive’ to the bargaining process. With its actions, including cancellation of classes for Wednesday, the Board has abdicated and abrogated its fiduciary responsibility for public trust. The Board threw their responsibility away as elected officials and representatives of the citizens and taxpayers for the education of the children of the District and as employers of the teachers and staff. The Board cannot lead nor govern when it abdicates its statutory responsibilities and essentially acts as one with employees and their union. Under these circumstances, it is obvious they have made the choice not to exercise their responsibilities for identifying solutions to the obvious financial challenges they face. The Board will not recognize the opportunities, nor tools, in front of them to make equitable, fair and educationally and financially sound decisions of benefit to all stakeholders in the education of our young people.