$pending more amidst declining enrollment (no mention of spending growth over the years, now > $25k/student

Scott Girard

But the board also took a big leap of faith, one that will likely require the help of the Madison community, once again, with another operating referendum in fall 2024. It could be the third straight presidential election in which the Madison Metropolitan School District asks voters for more spending authority above state limits, funded by local property tax increases.

The 2023-24 operating deficit is $15 million, but that includes some ongoing costs covered by one-time COVID-19 relief funding that expires at the end of the year. Without that money, there’s a $27 million hole to dig out from to build the 2024-25 budget.

The alternatives to a referendum aren’t pretty. During a budget discussion Monday night at the board’s Operations Work Group meeting, outgoing Chief Financial Officer Ross MacPherson estimated that to balance the budget a year from now would require cutting more than 300 positions.

“It’s going to be north of 300 positions if we only go that way,” he said. “Otherwise we really have to look at cost reductions around entire programming or, heaven forbid, we look at our schools if we need to restructure somehow.”

Madison’s taxpayer supported budget information.

“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?