[Lapham-Marquette PTG] Update on possible MMSD referendum

Matthew Calvert calvert.matthew at gmail.com
Wed Jun 25 12:06:58 EDT 2008

Since many people have asked me what's going on with school
budgets/referenda this year, here are some notes from a meeting last night.

Pre-Referendum Meeting

June 24, 2008

*Referendum Update by Arlene Silveira:*

No official discussion of referendum until Supt. Dan Nerad is here (next

Budget gap projected for 09-10: $9.2 million. Subsequent years $4.5-5
million. Reason: State Revenue Formula. Unknowns include state budget
changes, but this is the best estimate.


Mon. 7/30—likely first board discussion of possible referendum

Every Monday in August will probably be used for public input and

Late August vote on whether or not to go to referendum.

If approved, final wording of ballot question to clerk by early Sept.
(likely 9/4).

Nov. 4: Vote (this timing is good for turnout and because if it were to
fail, another question could be put to voters in the spring election.

Administration will prepare cut list in August to inform public about what's
at stake in referendum.

Issues to be decided include: recurring vs. non-recurring (meaning is it a
permanent increase), how many years, and, of course, amount to be requested.

*What can PTG/PTO's do?*

ü    Plan to host a presentation at September or October meetings with
district staff and/or community advocates to answer questions.

ü    Anyone wanting to do those presentations should watch for a training
opportunity. There will also be opportunities to do public outreach in the
fall, but it will have to be after the board decision about whether to go to

ü    Distribute information about the budget and referendum at
back-to-school events—handouts should be available at the beginning of the
school year, again pending final board decisions.

*Other Items*:

ü    4-year-old kindergarten. Green Bay implemented without referendum—Nerad
looking at options for financing it. This likely will not be in the
referendum, but will be discussed.

ü    MMSD planning a new strategic planning process starting in the fall. It
will include teachers, parents, community members.

ü    New school for Fitchburg to relieve Leopold crowding will likely not be
on Nov. ballot to keep focus on operating, not compete with Fitchburg
library referendum, wait for land acquisition to be complete. Likely to be
considered for spring.

ü    Board is being vocal about state finance issues—TUFF is a new MTI
effort to join WAES (Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools) and the
School Finance Network.
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