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

Every year in May and June, the Board revisits this budget process to confirm directional decisions earlier in the process.  Due to the impact of COVID-19, revisiting budget assumptions made prior to March 2020 was critically important this year.  Ultimately, the Board of Education revised earlier assumptions on revenue and thus in turn expenditures due to COVID-19.

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: 

The June 2020-21 Draft Preliminary Budget Proposal for the Madison Metropolitan School District has been updated with new revenue and expenditure assumptions to reflect the economic realities of the impact of COVID-19.  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 final October 2020-21 Budget will be updated to reflect our final revenue and expenditure plans for the year based on final information from the State on district revenue.

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 includes updated budget assumptions due to the impacts of COVID-19: (1) state ‘per pupil’ categorical aid to school districts will have no per pupil increase; (2) a $0 per student revenue limit increase in taxing authority; (3) no new 2016 operating referendum authority; and (4) the last $1 million available from the August 2016 TID #25 agreement  with the City of Madison.

Without knowing our full revenue sources for 2020-21, the Board had to put a number of their priorities on pause until our revenue is known. Funding for the following items remains included in the June 2020-21 Preliminary Budget:

  • 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. 
  • 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.

The following items are on pause until final revenue sources are known:

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

Note new dates:

  • June 15: Budget Input Session # 2 at Operations Workgroup, Confirm Board Amendments for June 29 vote
  • June 29: Board vote to adopt preliminary budget