City Budget and Education II

Maybe these children wouldn’t be smiling if they knew what the Mayor had in store for them.

I’ve been working on a post on the Community Agenda for America’s Public Schools, this reaction to the agenda and the lack of apparent progress in public and private partnerships for the public schools in Madison, including the intiative announced by Mayor Cieslewicz on April 9, 2008 (and discussed behind the scenes by many over a year before that).  Today another piece of the story demanding immediate attention came to light. So here instead is an unplanned part II of City Budget and Education (part I here).

My friend in city hall, Brenda Konkel, has the details and the analysis:

Dean Mosiman called me about the budget story he wrote. It’s hard to react to something you haven’t seen, but one thing is clear. The Mayor totally misled me and several others when he said he would hold Community Services agencies harmless like the police department. Not true.

No cost of living increases for the Community Services and CDBG groups. I was mad enough when he told us that even though we requested 4%, he was giving us 3%. (And he didn’t even know that he didn’t give us what we had requested.) When I say “us”, I mean as part of the Early Childhood Education and Childcare Board. I seriously, don’t want to go to another heartbreaking meeting where we agonize over which after school program to cut.

This is absurd on so many levels. Nothing for kids to do after school will just mean we need more police services. Which means there will be less money for community services and then Capt. Lengfeld can complain that the community services agencies just can’t keep up. It makes sense, he’s right, if there are no cost of living increases and the city is growing, and health care and fuel costs and everything else goes up, how are agencies supposed to keep up. Duh.

This makes no sense. We better just add 100 more police officers and get them some human services training, because there won’t be community services to work with them to prevent troubles in the community. Or, we better just start accepting that lower quality of life that some neighborhoods are concerned about

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Filed under Accountability, Best Practices, Budget, education, Local News, Referenda, referendum

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