As a Madison School District taxpayer, I appreciate the School Board’s careful consideration of whether the Nov. 8 election would be too soon to ask voters to approve a referendum.
When you’re an elected official overseeing a $376 million operating budget and the educational lives of some 27,000 students, you can’t take the public — or its money — for granted.
Luckily, I’m no elected official, and I can say what the elected school officials probably shouldn’t: Any halfway reasonable request from the Madison schools is almost certain to get approved, and by a large margin.
So far, a November referendum is just a gleam in certain School Board members’ eyes. District administrators haven’t come up with options for how much they might want, or when.
But as long as district officials don’t ask the average taxpayer for, say, more than a hundred bucks more per year, or to outfit every board member with a Lincoln Navigator and a Caribbean timeshare, voters will comply.
The District’s 2016-2017 “budget book” mentions spending $421,473,742 “excluding construction”….
I sent a note to Michael Barry on 10 July 2016 requesting the District’s construction budget, which I could not find.