MMSD Budget Development

How it works?

Every year, we set out to develop a budget for our district that aligns with our Strategic Framework, meets the needs of students and staff, and is fiscally responsible in light of State mandated revenue restrictions. Our process is to:

  • Collect and analyze input from students, staff and families collected throughout the year
  • Work with schools and departments to determine budgeting goals and guiding principles 
  • Create a revenue forecast based on current law and projected enrollment
  • Develop and fund our strategic equity projects in line with the Strategic Framework and input received throughout the year
  • Create a district-wide staffing plan using enrollment projections 
  • Develop a positive compensation strategy, including salaries/wages and benefits
  • Budget expected increases, such as utilities and transportation costs
  • Identify savings needed to balance budget gaps, focusing at the central office level first

How does the Draft Preliminary Budget reflect the District’s priorities?

It is more important than ever for us to work in partnership with the community. Through our district ways of working, we collect and analyze feedback from students, staff and family all year.  The data collected is analyzed by our qualitative research specialist and published on the research website. This information is then used by the Board of Education and the district’s Senior Leadership Team to develop the budget goals, parameters, and strategic equity projects.  The following are primary examples of community input utilized to create the budget:

Introducing the 2020-21 Draft Preliminary Budget Proposal: 

We are pleased to present the 2020-21 Draft Preliminary Budget Proposal for the Madison Metropolitan School District.  Development of the proposal has been guided by regular monthly direction provided by the Board, along with input from staff, parents, and the Madison community collected through the process to develop the new Strategic Framework and the process to gain insight on the potential November 2020 referenda. 

The MMSD Board of Education continues to consider a potential November 2020 referenda. This budget, however, does not include any consideration of that referenda.  Rather, it is the draft Preliminary Budget that when finalized and approved in June would go into effect on July 1, 2020.  When the Board decides on a final scope for the November 2020 referenda, MMSD will release a draft budget with the referenda scope included.  

The Board is scheduled to adopt a Preliminary Budget at the June 29, 2020 regular meeting.  The 2020-21 fiscal year begins July 1, 2020.  The budget presented in this document will be implemented on July 1, 2020.  If there is a referenda on the ballot and if successful, the passing referenda budget would be voted on by the Board in October, and then would be submitted to DPI, and the approved passing referenda tax levy submitted to the City of Madison all by the appropriate deadlines.  Thus allowing for the passing budget scenario to be implemented in November 2020 if applicable.

The revenue forecast for 2020-21 is driven by the following major funding sources and assumptions: (1) state ‘per pupil’ categorical aid to school districts will have no per pupil increase; (2) a $179 per student revenue limit increase in taxing authority; (3) no new 2016 operating referendum authority; and (4) in August 2016, the City of Madison and MMSD initiated an innovative funding stream based on future TID #25 (a successful downtown development zone) proceeds that were designated for the school district.  The advance made $9.27 million available to MMSD, with the last $1 million available in the 2020-21 budget year.

The additional local tax levy authority will provide the critical revenue flexibility needed to invest in key strategic equity priority areas that focus on MMSD students/families most in need, stabilize the district’s staffing plan, and meet our class size standards. These outcomes are the result of a deliberate and collaborative budget process which began early and provided time for careful and transparent decision making.

The budget development process followed a sequence which:

  • Began by establishing budget goals and guiding principles

  • Created a revenue forecast based on the latest information and projected enrollment

  • Designed a staffing plan in line with the class size policy 

  • Developed a compensation strategy, including salaries/wages and multiple options for employee benefits

  • Funded strategic equity projects

  • Provided for expected budgetary increases, such as post-employment benefits

We are excited about our plans for the 2020-21 school year as described in the sections that follow.  

  • Additional investments in the district’s multi-year priorities outlined in our Strategic Framework that have proven outcomes, such as:

    • Accelerated licensure for hard-to-staff positions, 

    • Expansion of mental health supports, 

    • Expansion of our Welcoming Schools curriculum, and

    • Expansion of personalized opportunities for post-secondary success. 

  • A two-year adoption plan for new K-5 reading curriculum materials.

  • Continuing investments for the recommendations provided by the Black Excellence Coalition aimed at meeting the social-emotional and academic needs of Black youth; advanced learning opportunities for students with a focus on students of color; and curriculum development that is historically accurate and culturally relevant.

  • Increased staffing for students with disabilities, including moving to a district-wide resource allocation model for special education aligned to the needs of students.

  • A competitive salary/wage strategy that provides an average total compensation increase of approximately 3.0%.

How does the 2020-21 Budget process link to the November 2020 referendum?

Learn more information in this regard on the Potential 2020 Operating Referendum page.

What is the 2020-21 Budget Timeline?

  • April 27: Draft Preliminary Budget presented to Board
  • April 27: Draft budget posted to MMSD Website, Budget Community input portal opened
  • May 4 to May 17: Targeted budget input sessions
  • May 4 - May 31: Board Member Budget Amendment Process
  • May 11: Budget Input Session #1 at Operations Workgroup
  • June 8: Budget Input Session # 2 at Operations Workgroup, Confirm Board Amendments for June 22 vote
  • June 22: Board vote to adopt preliminary budget