Proposed budget amendments from Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education Members and administrative responses have been posted here (further administrative responses are expected) Thus far only Ed Hughes, Lucy Mathiak and Arlene Silveira have submitted amendments. [Update: Maya Cole and Beth Moss now have amendments posted.]
With Mathiak’s amendments and most of Silveira’s cuts in one place are linked to funding items in another place, with some of the items being funded ones that have already been “taken off the table” and some of the items cut being things that were not originally among the Budget Options (Ed Hughes does some linking too). [Update: Beth Moss follows a similar pattern of linking savings to expenditures. In Maya Cole’s very extensive and detailed amendments, the individual proposals mostly stand alone.]
This isn’t wrong by any means, but it strikes me as strange. In the past the revenue limits required that for everything added back there be something cut (or budget estimations for things like salary savings be adjusted). There were no other choices. This year the tax authority is there and it isn’t necessary to “find the money” to pay for restored items.
I also think it confuses matters — not only in terms of the nature of the budget situation re. tax authority and the old revenue limit gaps — but also in terms of creating unnecessary and false connections between unrelated budget items.
I think proposing cuts that the Administration did not include is good, but I’d like to see these as distinct items. There is no reason to make cuts to to travel budgets contingent on restoring IRTs or restoring IRTs contingent on cuts to travel budgets.
No time for further comments. Read them yourself, they aren’t that long.
Thomas J. Mertz