MMSD School Finance Advocacy Talking Points

2007-09 Biennial Budget Issues
“Talking Points”

Categorical aids
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.
for MMSD.
• 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.

Arlene Silveira

Sample letters on categorical aid and SAGE are linked.

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