Madison schools are on a mission. We are focused on closing gaps in opportunity and raising achievement for all of our students, and we want every child to graduate ready for college, career and community. Through the efforts outlined in our Strategic Framework, we have built positive momentum and made gap-narrowing progress – and our budget this year is dedicated to forwarding those efforts in every classroom and school across our district.
We thank the Board of Education and community for their overwhelming support of our school district’s referendum, which puts us in a stable financial position. For the first time in three years, we do not have to make significant staff cuts. Despite uncertainty on state and national fronts, we are able to remain focused on our daily work to ensure every child is academically challenged in a safe and supportive environment.
In this budget, you’ll see several key investments to:
- work that is already underway to solidify the foundation necessary to sustain progress over time.
- accelerate our work in key areas of progress like early literacy and keeping 9th graders on track.
- the innovation necessary to advance progress in areas of highest need.
- our workforce to ensure that we are attracting, developing and retaining a diverse staff that is well prepared to support our students on their path to graduation.
- maintain favorable class sizes that help our teachers meet students’ individual needs.
Ultimately, we know that our budget is a statement of our priorities. We believe this proposed budget will help us ensure that every child is held to high expectations and receives the support they need to meet and exceed those expectations. We want every school to be a thriving school that prepares every child for college, career and community. We thank the community for supporting us, making this work possible and believing in all of our students.
Report on class size amendment
September 15, 2017, update
Despite action by the Assembly this week, as of September 15, 2017, we still do not have final numbers related to the state budget and, therefore, no additional funds have been allocated to the existing unallocated pool based on the state per pupil amounts. As such, there have been no positions created or distributed from such funds. Given the timing of the state budget, and how far we are into the school year, we do not anticipate using any additional unallocated positions, barring unforeseen circumstances, even after the budget passes as doing so would be highly disruptive to students and staff alike.
We are continuing to monitor all class sizes across our schools. As of today, all classes at the elementary level are within MMSD class size standards. There are five AGR classrooms that are at 19 students. At the secondary level, we will continue to monitor and address sections that exceed our standards. Our current unallocated pool has met staffing needs and we anticipate that we will not need additional allocation after our 3rd Friday count.
The table below illustrates the number of grade and language of instruction combinations (ELI, DLI, Bilingual) identified using the guidelines defined in the amendment. It is important to note that in many cases, these sections exceed the guidelines in the amendment by only a single student (i.e. 19 students in a K-3 High Poverty homeroom). In addition, adding an additional FTE in many of these locations would then create class sizes that are so small that they violate MMSD Board Policy 3450. Finally, not all locations identified using these guidelines have an empty room that can accommodate an additional section, particularly at the elementary level.
In accordance with the preliminary budget amendment related to the creation of unallocated positions, the administration must provide an update on or before July 14, 2017. At this point, we do not have final numbers related to the state budget and, therefore, no additional funds have been allocated to the existing unallocated pool based on the state per pupil amounts. As such, there have been no positions created or distributed from such funds. As of June 29th, 7.5 FTE were distributed from the previously established unallocated pool to address larger sections.
We have not yet begun the process of reconfiguring sections that are currently very small, which will impact the number of unallocated positions needed. Once this occurs, we could distribute more.
With respect to reporting on the number of sections or classrooms remaining that exceed the guidelines in the June 2017 class size amendment, we will reconfigure our tool for analyzing sections using the guidelines set forth in the budget amendment. This will take a significant amount more of staff time than we anticipated. We will have better and more accurate information upon which to build this model after Enrollment Week in August. Specific information related to section sizes that exceed the guidelines will be available by September 15.