Another Principal for a Day

Anjuman Ali of the Wisconsin State Journal was another Foundation for Madison Public Schools principal for a day (see here for Dave Zweifel’s report). Ali was at JC Wright Middle School, where our older son attends.

Where Zweifel ended with the most important message, Ali begins with it:

Madison’s schools are doing a remarkable job of educating children despite challenges posed by changing demographics and shrinking budgets.

But schools need our help to keep giving kids the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life.

Ali’s words of praise for the Wright staff also ring true:

At Wright, I interacted with an extraordinary group of educators and staff, including Principal Nancy Evans.

As a parent, I can’t say enough good things about Nancy Evans and the entire staff at Wright.

The column highlights the insufficient resources we provide to schools:

There is a looming crisis in K-12 education not just in Madison, but also in other Wisconsin municipalities. And lawmakers, school officials and others have to recognize the magnitude of this crisis and act now.

Much of the budgetary crunch is due to Wisconsin’s school funding formula, which is seriously outdated. The revenue limits do not allow property taxes and state aid to keep up with rising costs. Lawmakers need to examine and change this system. Meanwhile, school districts have no option but to continue to find ways to become leaner

Ali calls for more volunteerism, more help from businesses and individuals and a plea to do what you can to make sure our children have the schools they deserve.

The city and the state’s healthy future depends on children getting a quality education and life skills. Please consider contributing to their success by supporting Madison’s public schools.

I agree with all of this, although I’d put a little more emphasis on enacting a school finance system that would make private contributions a bonus and not a necessity.

Thomas J. Mertz

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Filed under AMPS, Best Practices, Budget, Local News, School Finance, Take Action

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