2007-09 Biennial Budget Issues
Special Education Aid – Governor’s special education aid increase provides MMSD with an estimated $1,032,000 in 2007-08 and $1,721,000 in 2008-09.
• When revenue limits started in 1993-94, state SPED reimbursement was 45%.
• Current reimbursement at 28.6%.
• District’s resources declined by $9.4 million compared to the 45% reimbursement rate.
Bilingual-Bicultural Aid – Governor’s Bilingual-bicultural increase maintains the state’s 12% reimbursement.
• Provides an estimated $52,000 to MMSD in both years of the biennium.
• When revenue limits began, state reimbursement was 33% for bilingual-bicultural expenses.
• The current reimbursement is 12%.
• Loss of resources to the district of $2.2 million.
Combined, the decline in state reimbursement for SPED and bilingual-bicultural aid to Madison Schools is $11.6 million. The District estimates it will have to cut $10.5 million from its “cost to continue” budget for 2007-08 in order to comply with revenue limits.
SAGE (Student Achievement Guarantee in Education) – Governor increases SAGE funding from $2,000 per low income child to $2,250.
• Increase provides an estimated $737,500 in classroom resources.
• First per pupil increase in SAGE’s 10-year history.
Revenue Limit Flexibility
School safety – Modify Governor’s school safety proposal.
• Allow expenditures for Educational Resource Officers and school security assistants at elementary/middle/high schools to be outside the revenue limits (Gov. only allows resources for police officers).
• Delete provision requiring 50-50 local municipality resource match.
• Support substitute language similar to Rep. Spencer Black’s proposal to allow $100 per pupil to be spent for security measures outside the revenue caps.
Beginning teacher mentors – Support Governor’s proposal allowing school districts to pay for mentors required by state law to be outside the revenue limits.
• There were 43 new teachers in MMSD this year with “provisional license” (which lasts 3-5 years)
• Would provide about $54,000 for mentoring costs.
• Can assume there will be a similar number of “beginning” teachers next year and subsequent years.
Legislative Council School Finance Study recommendation – Allow local school boards to vote to exceed the revenue limits by about 1% of the statewide average per pupil cost. (Not included in Governor’s budget.)
• Allow locally elected school board members to vote to exceed revenue limits by about 1% the statewide average per pupil cost.
• Provides an additional $2,172,544 in 2007-08 for MMSD classroom resources, based on the estimate of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau
• MMSD has cut nearly $53 million from its cost-to-continue budget since revenue limits began in the 1993-94 school year.
• Over 615 positions have been eliminated from MMSD between 1993-94 and 2006-07.
Elimination of the Qualified Economic Offer (QEO)
Oppose elimination of the QEO without corresponding changes to revenue limits.
• Eliminates the “greater weight” factors of revenue limits and local economic conditions in arbitration decisions.
• Without changes to the revenue limit law, changing the QEO would cause greater revenue limit cuts in the district’s classrooms.
Sample letters on categorical aid and SAGE are linked.