Category Archives: Pope-Roberts/Breske Resolution

TID and School Finance Op Ed

Thomas J. Mertz: Legislators need to focus on flawed school financing

Thomas J. Mertz, guest columnist — 10/06/2007 9:23 am

The earlier than anticipated closure of two tax incremental financing districts may provide Madison Metropolitan School District with $5.4 million — and an opportunity to temporarily escape the full effects of Wisconsin’s broken education finance system and avoid both budget cuts and a divisive referendum this year.

Communities and Schools Together, a grass-roots advocacy organization dedicated to securing the support our schools need, asks the City Council to support the closure of these districts and urges the School Board to use these unanticipated revenues to partially or fully offset the 2008-2009 structural gap between allowed revenues and costs under the state revenue limits.

CAST has been working since March to gather community input regarding an operating referendum. We heard an outpouring of support for strong funding of public schools. We would like to thank all those who have volunteered, offered support or provided input on their priorities to the School Board. We would also like to thank the board and the administration for recognizing the need for a referendum and beginning the process in a timely fashion.

Referendum campaigns are not easy. Madison values education but getting approval of any increase in taxation would be difficult. CAST is confident that district voters would affirm the importance they place on education by supporting a referendum. However, even a successful referendum might exacerbate divisions in the community. The closure of the tax incremental financing districts gives us an opportunity to avoid this for one more year.

In the coming year we will welcome a new superintendent. The closure of the tax districts and the use of that money for operating expenses will allow for a positive period of transition, instead of one devoted to healing the wounds of draconian budget cuts or a referendum campaign.

As beneficial as the tax windfall will be, it will not cure the ills of a flawed system of school finance.

After 15 years of finding efficiencies, cutting over $60 million and eliminating over 600 staff positions, every additional reduction threatens the education of our children, the health of our neighborhoods, and the economic strength of our region. The $5.4 million will allow the schools to continue doing the good they do for one more year, but it isn’t enough to restore all the valuable programs that have already been cut or expand the good with new programs like 4-year old kindergarten.

Absent reform at the state level, the next fiscal year will require an operating referendum to prevent even larger cuts. In order to again look at school budgets as an opportunity to do the most good instead of an exercise in doing the least harm, the state must act to address the fundamental flaws in the way we fund our schools.

At the CAST meeting there was a spontaneous and collective commitment to redirect our energies toward state school finance reform. Our current system is a contradictory collection of underfunded mandates requiring districts around the state to cut about 1.5 percent from their same service budgets annually.

The children of Wisconsin deserve a system that guarantees sufficient resources for all children to achieve, that provides for reasonable local control, that recognizes the diverse needs of our students and communities, and that seeks fairness in taxation and puts education first.

Until the next referendum, CAST will be working with ABC Madison (All the Best for Children) and the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools to support the resolution sponsored by Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts demanding that the Legislature address the problems of school funding and all other efforts to bring about positive reform.

Community and Schools Together welcomes the prospect of setting aside referendum campaigns to work for fundamental changes in school funding at the state level. Please join us; our future depends on getting this right.

Thomas J. Mertz is co-chair of Communities and Schools Together.

The Capital Times © 2007

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Filed under AMPS, Budget, Local News, Pope-Roberts/Breske Resolution, Referenda, School Finance

Quote of the Day

State Rep Brett Davis issued a column and a press release yesterday. In both he touts his support for enacting a full state budget and the assembly bill providing for separate k-12 funding.

I am doing everything I can to get a full state budget approved. Since the Conference Committee can’t agree on every part of the budget yet, at a minimum it is important a good faith compromise be reached now on education and aid to local governments.

Leaving aside whatever merits the passage of the Assembly bill may have as policy, only a fool would believe that it did anything but hurt the chances of getting a full budget passed quickly. I don’t think Davis is a fool but apparently he thinks we are fools. Davis wants to be seen as a moderate who is open to compromise and a friend of public education. Let’s review the record.

On On April 20th Davis said he was “crafting legislation” based on UW Professor Alan Odden’s adequacy plan “to overhaul the state’s school-finance system.” He added: “I’m committed to working as hard as I can for that [have the proposal ready and hold hearing in the Fall].” As of September 18th, his office could not give a progress report or timeline for the legislation or hearings.

On July 11th Davis joined with all but one of his Republican Assembly colleagues to pass a budget proposal that was filled with right wing policy initiatives and would have been devastating to Wisconsin’s schools (more here and here).

When on August 9th the GOP JFC members made a new and almost equally devastating education offer, Rep. Davis appears to have been silent.

As the weeks passed with little progress, the GOP realized that in addition to the much heralded defunding of state and local government programs that would occur due to a delayed budget (starve the beast), no budget would also mean increased property taxes. On September 18th they blinked and sought cover by having the Assembly pass a bill on k-12 funding and local government aids. These bills have zero chance of passing the Senate or being signed by the Governor. They are simply a way for the Republicans to save face after their previous games with the budget didn’t work out the way they wanted. They are also “political sideshow” designed to distract from the GOP’s failure to negotiate the full budget in good faith.

Throughout this period Davis, as Chair of the Education Committee, has refused to schedule a hearing on the Pope-Roberts school finance reform resolution, dismissing it as a political tactic. Funny that he didn’t vote against the political tactic of the GOP Assembly budget, didn’t point out the games being played with education funding in the Conference Committee and continues to champion the dead-on-arrival separate education funding bill — they are all transparent political tactics.

If Rep. Davis is sincere in his concern for schools, his embrace of the Odden plan and his desire for compromise then at very least he should schedule a hearing on the Pope-Roberts proposal and use this hearing to pave the way for a long promised introduction of his legislation based on the Odden plan. The Pope-Roberts resolution simply asks for a solution that meets certain criteria; according to Davis his Odden based bill will meet (or come close to meeting) those criteria.

This seems like a perfect opportunity to work together and move toward a solution, the kind of opportunity a moderate who cares about schools would jump at. Too bad Rep. Davis is too busy tying himself in knots by working for a full budget while stumping for means to take the pressure off the Conference Committee; by attacking supposed Democratic political ploys while participating in GOP charades; by playing to moderates while trying to keep the WMC money flowing.

Davis may think that with a few words in a well crafted press release he can paper over the contradictions in his actions and statements. This time the gap between words and actions is too big and the record too clear for him to get away with it. Free advice to Rep. Davis – maybe next time act like the moderate who values education and looks for compromise that you claim to be and you won’t end up in such a twisted mess.

Thomas J. Mertz

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Filed under AMPS, Budget, Gimme Some Truth, Pope-Roberts/Breske Resolution, Quote of the Day, School Finance

Young Lobbyists

2

I’ve been too busy to post a follow up on the September 18th visit to the Capitol to advocate for state school finance reform. Sorry for the delay.

Let me start by thanking all those who participated. We had a good crowd, about thirty total in three groups, most under age twelve. As you can imagine it was a bit chaotic, but the energy was great. Next time we’ll try to be better organized…there will be next time and a time after that and beyond.

The kids were great and I loved the signs they brought. The parents were great too. I was impressed by how well informed their comments and questions were and how they pushed the legislators and staff to get past the canned talking points.

When I was thinking about it later it came to me that one of the things I like about Madison is that many people believe that they can make a difference, that they can create positive change. That was the spirit I saw in our group and the lesson I saw our children learning. How wonderful.

On one hand we know that a handful of parents and children is not going to undo the damage done by the $366,674 that Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce spent lobbying from January to June of 2007. On the other hand we know that if we refuse to be ignored, we can do some good. It is the William Lloyd GarrisonI will be heard” attitude. Keep it up!

We will be doing more of this, stay tuned for details. For now I want ask for a couple more things. First, for those who joined us at the Capitol a quick note to the offices you visited — thanking them for their time and reiterating the purpose of our effort — would be a good idea. All the legislators are listed here. The notes, letters and calls from those who couldn’t make it are always good too. I would especially push Brett Davis on the timeline of his proposal and for a better, less political explanation of why he refuses to give the Pope-Roberts resolution a hearing. The second request has to do with the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools (disclosure, I’m a Board member of WAES). WAES has been doing the best work on state education finance reform for years. Recently it became clear that we will not be able to depend on foundation funding in the future and would need to find an alternate way to keep going. We are in the midst of transitioning to a dues structure. On October 1, Tom Beebe (of WAES) will be doing a presentation to the MMSD Board of Education Communications Committee, explaining the changes and beginning the process of asking that our district become a dues paying partner. There will be public comment that evening and your support would be appreciated.

Thanks to all again, especially those who got this started and the kids.

Thomas J. Mertz

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School Funding Action: Capitol Visit 9/18

Tuesday September 18th is an in-service day for MMSD and a group of parents have decided to take this opportunity to bring their children to the Capitol to remind our elected officials of the need to do a better job funding education.

The details and some notes about talking points below:

First, the simple details (flier here):

  • Meet at the State entrance 10:00 AM, 9/18.
  • Senators Risser and Robson, Representatives Pocan, Pope Roberts and Berceau have all been contacted and are expecting us. The legislature will convene at 11:00, the elected officials have full schedules and we may end up speaking to staff in one or more of the offices.
  • MMSD is also represented by Senators Erpenbach and Miller and Representatives Travis, Black and Parsi. We will try to contact them in advance.
  • It has been suggested that the Chairs of the Assembly Education Committee (Brett Davis) and the Assembly Education Reform Committee (Donald Pridemore) also get visits (more on that below).
  • Under the circumstances, I think it would be a good idea to bring short, personal letters that we can leave with the legislators or their staffs (letters from kids would be great! My 12-year-old son is writing one letter addressed to “Senators and Representatives” and we will bring multiple copies).
  • With the tight time frame we will probably divide up (and conquer!).
  • Bringing signs would be good too (not allowed in chambers, but OK in hallways).

    That should take care of the who, where and when. The what got very complicated these last few days. I’m going to try to make this as simple as possible but need to give some background (skip down to the talking points at the end if you like).

    The state finance system is a mess, a big mess. The Wisconsin Legislature is in the middle of negotiations on the biennial budget but none of the proposals on the table address the fundamental problems of the school finance system, the big mess. However, except for some relatively small differences as of Thursday September 13, the parties all back different versions of something very much like the best proposal anyone put forth. Points of agreement include items like the standard annual revenue limit increases, increased SAGE funding and special education aid; all of which would help Madison’s schools and many other districts. This would be good news except for the fact that the GOP want this considered separate from the budget negotiations and the Democrats don’t want to separate anything.

    So all the parties have essentially agreed on the structure and level of school funding, but conflict remains. This may change by Tuesday when the Assembly is scheduled to take up their k-12 bill.

    I don’t think it is a good idea for advocates of school finance reform to take sides in this conflict, but use your own judgment. What I do think we all should do is thank the Legislators of all a parties for supporting in one form or another the good things this budget will provide for the schools and continue to push for systematic reform, to demand that they do better.

    The structural gap between allowed revenues and expenses in the current system, even under the best-case scenario with this budget cycle, will continue to create annual cuts in programming and services of about 1.5%. Special education aid from the state will still only cover about 30% of the costs and bilingual reimbursements from the state will cover less than 12% of the costs. Almost all schools and districts that take advantage of the proven SAGE class size reductions will have to find cuts elsewhere to pay for this wonderful but underfunded program. Over 100 districts have held referenda in the last year. Districts with declining enrollments and rising enrollments face different but equally destructive shortfalls under the current system. This system, the system the budget won’t touch, wreaks havoc in the biggest cities, the small towns, the rural districts, the North woods… Throughout the state educators and students find themselves struggling each year to do more with less.

    Representative Sondy Pope Roberts has introduced a Joint Resolution (with 60 co-sponsors) calling for the Legislature to create a new system with funding levels based on the real costs of education, sufficient state resources for districts to meet mandates and enough flexibility to address the diverse needs of districts in the state. This is the best shot to move real reform forward this session. A hearing by the Senate Education Committee has been scheduled for November 15th. The Assembly Education and Education Reform Committee Chairs have not agreed to schedule hearings.

    Based on the above, these are my suggested talking points:

    Thank you for supporting the band-aid relief in this budget cycle.
    o Revenue limit increases
    o SAGE funding increases
    o Special Education funding increases

    The system remains broken
    o Structural gap between revenue limits and costs
    o Underfunded mandates and programs
    o Diverse needs inadequately addressed
    o Schools and children are struggling
    o Wisconsin cannot remain competitive if this continues

    Real reform needed

    Pope-Roberts Resolution will move real reform forward

    Support the resolution

    More information links:

    WisPolitics Budget Blog (best source for both background and up to the minute info)

    MMSD Budget Info

    Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools

    Carol Carstensen’s brief explanation of the state school finance system

    Past Present and Future MMSD Budget Cuts

    Thomas J. Mertz

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    Filed under AMPS, Budget, Local News, Pope-Roberts/Breske Resolution, School Finance, Take Action

    School Finance Update from WAES

    From the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools:

    Hopes for early state budget fade into the distance
    School districts lose under Assembly version of the budget
    “Extra” Assembly school aid goes to taxpayers, not kids

    School-funding reform calendar
    The Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools (WAES) is a statewide network of educators, school board members, parents, community leaders, and researchers. Its Wisconsin Adequacy Plan — a proposal for school-finance reform — is the result of research into the cost of educating children to meet state proficiency standards.

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    Hopes for early budget fade into the distance

    It seems to happen every two years: Wisconsin gets into the budget season, the rhetoric begin to fly, and … before you know it … school-funding reform once again recedes into the background and the crisis continues to grow. This budget cycle is no exception, and it could go on for quite a while.

    The Senate and the Assembly passed vastly different versions of the budget — by some reports up to $10 billion apart — along party lines. Additionally, the policy focus of the budgets is quite different, leading many to believe it could be well into the fall before a conference committee agrees on a compromise budget and sends it to both houses and eventually the Governor for approval.

    Your best bet to follow news coverage of the budget process is to log into your hometown newspaper or go to one of two excellent statewide sites and follow the links. Your choices are The Wheeler Report or wispolitics.com.

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    School districts lose under Assembly version of the budget

    Depending upon your party affiliation, political or social point-of-view, or how much stake you put in the need for adequate school funding, the differing versions of the 2007-09 budget are the best and worst of all possible worlds.

    If you want to wade through the hundreds of pages in both the Senate and Assembly versions, go here. The sad fact is that once the numbers are run through the filter of the Assembly budget, every district in the state loses or stands pat in the revenue limit formula.

    Also analyzing the Assembly version of the budget are: WEAC; the Wisconsin School Administrators Alliance; and the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families You can also find analysis on the websites of The Wheeler Report or wispolitics.com.

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    “Extra” Assembly school aid goes to taxpayers, not kids

    Between passage of the budget and the start of the work of the conference committee, points and counterpoints have been flying between legislators, especially over what the budget really means to Wisconsin public school districts.

    One claim being made by many legislators is that the Assembly budget actually puts more money into public schools … more money, for example, than the Governor’s budget.

    One such claim was made by Assembly Education Committee chair and 80th Assembly District Rep. Brett Davis. Reacting to 79th Assembly District Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts criticizing him for comments during the budget debate, Rep. Davis said the Assembly actually put more state money into the budget for schools than the Governor asked for.

    Technically, he was right. The Assembly budget reduced the amount of school aid in the Joint Finance Committee version by $85 million and did increase the state share of school funding by $200 million over two years — with the key phrase being state share. What Rep. Davis didn’t say was that the net effect of the Assembly action was to take money away from public school children. Every cent of the $200 million increase went for property tax relief (bringing the total to just short of $800 million). Not one penny went into a classroom or to a child.

    As Rep. Pope-Roberts said, “You’d have to be delusional to divert money from students and classrooms, squander it on tax cuts, and still call it an ‘investment in education.'” Another take on the Pope-Roberts vs. Davis debate can be found here.

    After taking a look at the Assembly budget, the budget coverage, the budget analysis, the budget comment, and the budget vote, please contact your state representatives and let them know what you think. To find out who represents you, go to http://waml.legis.state.wi.us/. Remember, this is the starting point for the compromise our schools will have to live with for the next two years.

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    Help us better serve you by letting us know when you change e-mail addresses. In that way we can stop sending the update to the old one and switch over to the new one as soon as possible.

    *************

    School-funding reform calendar

    Sept. 8 — Jack Norman, IWF research director, will be part of a discussion on TABOR and school funding at Fighting Bob Fest (http://www.fightingbobfest.org/), noon, at the Sauk County Fairgrounds in Baraboo (follow the link to “getting there” at the website)

    Sept. 13 — School-funding reform presentation at Hayward High School, details to follow
    Sept. 20 — School-funding reform presentation for District 1 of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, 10 a.m. at the Behring Senior Center, 113 10th St., Monroe

    Sept. 20 — School-funding reform presentation for the Manitowoc League of Women’s Voters, 7 p.m., other details to follow

    Oct. 23 — School-funding reform presentation for the Janesville Retired Educators Association

    Please feel free to share your copy of the WAES school-funding update with anyone interested in school-finance reform. Contact Tom Beebe (tbeebe@wisconsinsfuture.org) at 414-384-9094 for details.

    Thomas J. Mertz

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    Rep. Pope-Roberts Calls for Immediate Action on School Funding Reform

    In a press release and letter to Rep. Donald Pridemore, chairperson of the Assembly Education Reform Committee, Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts (D-Verona) expressed her disappointment that he had not scheduled a hearing on Assembly Joint Resolution 35 (AJR35), which calls on the state to change the school-funding system by July 1, 2009.

    “I am disappointed in Representative Pridemore’s continued excuses for turning his back on students, educators and administrators desperate for debate on school funding. I have been told that Representative Pridemore has not scheduled Assembly Joint Resolution 35 for a public hearing because he has yet to receive a formal request from my office.

    “This is nothing but a petty partisan excuse; he is making up rules and placing the blame elsewhere. I was hopeful at the beginning of this legislative session that we would be able to act together as legislators invested in education instead of continuing these political games. I have now formally requested a public hearing for AJR 35 which calls upon the legislature to make changes to the school funding formula by July of 2009.”

    “If Representative Pridemore isn’t even willing to hold a public hearing on this Resolution, I find it hard to believe he has any intention at all to “bring about meaningful reforms” that will help our education system or any intention of running this committee in a “fair and impartial fashion” as he wrote to me in January.”

    In a letter to Pridemore, Pope-Roberts talked about the many phone calls, e-mails, and letters from all over Wisconsin asking that a hearing be scheduled on AJR35.

    Please take a couple of minutes to contact Rep. Pridemore. He can be telephoned at 608-267-2367; faxed at 608-282-3699; e-mailed at rep.pridemore@legis.wisconsin.gov; or written to at State Capitol, P.O. Box 8953, Madison 53708. Make sure to ask him to copy your message to the members of the Assembly Education Reform Committee.

    Robert Godfrey

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    Part of the problem

    This reporting below is symptomatic of a larger issue that we have been unsuccessful at conveying to our state legislators so far, the need for fundamental school finance reform. It’s not a question of taking money from one school and giving it to another. It’s about funding all our schools adequately. This issue really comes down to a question of our future priorities as a society. The quicker we get the dialogue shifted to a new level of discourse, the quicker we will see real and sustainable reform.

    A legislative resolution calling for school funding reform by July 2009 is purely politics and won’t get to a vote in the Assembly, a North Woods legislator said Friday.

    State Rep. Dan Meyer (R-Eagle River) said school funding reform is such a difficult issue that little progress will be made until the governor’s office makes it a priority.

    “The problem is that we’ve got 99 Assembly people who are all representing different school districts,” said Meyer. “I’d support it if my district got more money, but then we’d be taking from someone else. Do you think Milwaukee will jump up and down and support it? Not if they are going to lose money.”

    The statements came in response to Assembly Joint Resolution 35 and Senate Joint Resolution 27, which call upon legislators to reform the school aid formula by July 1, 2009. They were co-authored by Sen. Roger Breske (D-Eland) and Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts (D-Verona).

    The resolutions say that the present funding system is not working, problems are aggravated by declining enrollment, more and more referenda are being held to exceed revenue limits, and it is the job of the Legislature to change it.

    Meyer, who sits on the powerful Joint Finance Committee, said budget hearings across the state have attracted teachers and school administrators who all have the same message: The formula needs to change and they need more money.

    “A lot of that testimony came from educators in areas of the state where they get a lot more aid than schools in my district,” said Meyer. “The problem is, none of the schools are happy even though more than 50 cents of every state tax dollar goes to education.”

    Robert Godfrey

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    Filed under AMPS, Gimme Some Truth, Pope-Roberts/Breske Resolution, School Finance, Take Action, We Are Not Alone

    What You Can Do to Support MMSD School Finance Advocacy Group: An Update from Arlene Silveira

    The Board meeting on the evening of Wednesday, April 25 will be at 6:30pm at Wright Middle School. The purpose of the meeting is to outline a long-term advocacy strategy, empower community members to move this forward, discuss best ways of communicating. This will be an interactive meeting with the community. The agenda is below:

    1. Update of legislative activities since the March 29 meeting (come and share any info you have on your advocacy efforts and responses from legislators or other community members)

    2. Planning for long-term legislative advocacy to change the revenue limit law for K-12 public schools (break into small groups to talk about different strategies and prioritize our top issues)

    3. Identification of people who would continue to lead the process of advocating to change the revenue limit law (does anyone ant to take a role in leading the different strategies we outline)

    4. Next steps and action items

    WHAT YOU CAN DO BEFORE THE MEETING?

    In your advocacy efforts, if you have encountered questions that you could not answer, please let us know in advance of the meeting. We will prepare answers to these questions if possible.

    If there is information you need to better advocate, please let us know. If it is something we should prepare in advance of the meeting, please let us know ASAP.

    Start thinking about advocacy strategies that you can share at the meeting.

    If you have any information you want to share with the group beforehand, please do so.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    Thanks to all who attended the Sondy Pope-Roberts press conference on Thursday. MMSD had a great turn-out!!!! People are starting to listen.

    VISIT THE CAPITOL on APRIL 25th

    The Lowell parent group is organizing a trip to the capitol on April 25th at 3:30pm. Visit legislators and show support. If you need more information, please contact Lynn at 242-9355, Jill at 249-4377 or email Jack @ mjtrudell@charter.net

    Thanks.
    Arlene Silveira

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    Filed under AMPS, Pope-Roberts/Breske Resolution, School Finance, Take Action

    Next Steps on School Finance Reform: Take Action NOW

    The Wisconsin Assembly has referred the Pope-Roberts resolution to reform public school finance by July 2009 to the “Education Reform” committee, chaired by Rep. Don Pridemore of Hartford in Washington County.

    People should be contacting Rep. Pridemore (267-2367, Rep.Pridemore@legis.wisconsin.gov) to push for a Legislative hearing on school finance reform.
    People in Pridmore’s district ESPECIALLY need to be contacting him.

    Here’s a map of his district.

    If any of you have contact to the Waukesha parents yesterday or know of people in Rep. Pridemore’s district, please pass on his phone number to them and have them call his office. This is the time to exert some pressure to push for a hearing on school finance. A hearing is a way to push the issue to the top of the pile of issues the Legislature must address.

    Beth Swedeen

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    Saving Our Schools: State Level Update and Next Steps

    The Assembly Parlor was PACKED today for Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts’ press conference calling on the Legislature to reform school finance by July 2009. Speakers came from the Florence School District up north, Waukesha, Madison and Milwaukee. Madison West Senior Jacinth Sohi did a FABULOUS job putting a human face on what the budget cuts have meant to Madison students. Great job, Jacinth and the Madison Student Council! (Look at the picture in today’s Cap Times to see how our students created a visual image of school funding problems).

    So, next steps??

    — Contact the two legislative chairs of education and ASK FOR A HEARING ON SCHOOL FINANCE REFORM. (Brett Davis in the Assembly Rep.Davis@legis.wisconsin.gov or 266-1192; John Lehman in the Senate at Sen.Lehman@legis.wisconsin.gov or 266-1832. This can get the ball rolling on encouraging the Legislature to put something concrete into action to reform school finance.

    — Contact every member of the Joint Committee on Finance to ask them for increased funding this year for Categorical Aids (special education: $45 million this year; $55 million this year to put the state more in line with its two-thirds commitment to districts to fund special education) and renewed commitment to SAGE Funding in line with the Governor’s recommendations. Joint Finance contact info here and email contacts here.

    — Write your letters to the editor:

    wsjopine@madison.com
    tctvoice@madison.com
    edit@isthmus.com

    — Attend the April 25 6:30 meeting of the MMSD Legislative Action Group (location to be determined) Contact Ken Syke at MMSD for more info at ksyke@madison.k12.wi.us or Arlene Silveira at

    — Meet with Lowell School Parents at 3:30 iApril 25 n the Capitol Rotunda to visit Sen. Mark Miller (joint Finance) and Lowell parent Rep. Joe Parisi. If other parents meet, they can probably split up and visit other key legislators as well. For more info, contact Lynn at 242-9355, Jill at 249-4377 or Jack at mjtrudell@charter.net Find out who your legislators are by going here.

    More info on the MMSD website, including sample letters and all Joint Finance contact info.

    And for specifics on school finance reform, read “Death by a Thousand Cuts” at the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools site.

    Thanks!!
    Beth Swedeen

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    Filed under AMPS, Pope-Roberts/Breske Resolution, School Finance, Take Action