Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Legislative
February 27, 2006
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, McDaniels Auditorium
Madison, Wisconsin

Legislative Committee meeting was called to order by Ruth Robarts at 5 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Board Members--Ruth Robarts, Shwaw Vang

Citizen Members--Erica Laughlin and Tim Saterfield

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Bill Keys (arrived 5:10 p.m.); Lawrie Kobza (arrived 5:04 p.m.)


STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE PRESENT: Connor Gants (arrived 5:04 p.m.)

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Mary Gulbrandsen, Pam Nash, Roger Price, Joe Quick, Art Rainwater, Ann Wilson-Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Tim Saterfield and seconded by Erica Laughlin to approve the minutes of the Legislative Committee meeting dated December 5, 2005 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried by those present.

2. Public Appearances

There were no public appearances.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

Ruth Robarts announced she would like to change the order of the agenda and begin with an Update on the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. There was no objection.

4. Update on Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR)

(Packets included a memorandum from Joe Quick dated 2/23/06 re: Latest Version of TABOR; TABOR Resolution approved by Board of Education April 19, 2004; Legislative News Briefs; 2005 Assembly Joint Resolution 77; and The Taxpayer Protection Amendment: A Preliminary Analysis by A. Reschovsky - attached to the original of these minutes.)

Joe Quick explained the revised version of TABOR called the Taxpayer Protection Amendment (companion bills Assembly Joint Resolution 77/Senate Joint Resolution 63). He noted a hearing is scheduled on March 1 in Pewaukee; he was not sure whether more hearings would be scheduled. He explained how the formulas work, why it is problematic for both sides, and tactics that will be used over the next couple of months. A vote is anticipated in April or May.

Joe Quick noted a number of people feel the vote could be derailed in the Senate; he distributed information about Republican Senators (attached to the original of these minutes) who may oppose the amendment there. The MMSD has joined a broad-based coalition that is trying to identify the most objectionable items. He noted the legislators in the Madison delegation are Democrats and will oppose the bill but he encouraged contacting representatives and registering opposition.


More inclusive than previous versions - includes fees and forfeitures; all controlled by formula.

WASB lobbying day - noted only enrollment and expenditures to be counted are K-12 - no early childhood for us, or 4-year-old kindergarten for other districts.

Impact on schools as profiled in Professor Reschovsky's paper.

Similar legislation in other places provides evidence it is not helpful to government in general - not well thought out, rejected.

It was moved by Erica Laughlin and seconded by Tim Saterfield that Joe Quick update the TABOR Resolution approved by the Board of Education on April 19, 2004 and that it be referred to the Regular Board of Education meeting of March 6, 2006. Motion unanimously carried by those present.

5. Definition of Administrator to clarify which School DistrictAdministrator Positions have Statutory Job Rights Under WisconsinStatute 118.24

(Written information distributed: minutes from the Special Meeting dated January 29, 2001 re: Contracts for Administrative Staff Members; Appendix 1 of the January 29, 2001 Regular Board Meeting re: approval of contracts; Human Resources Policy 2.06 re: Administrator Contracts - attached to the original of these minutes.)

Lawrie Kobza stated that Wis. Stats. Section 118.24 does not appear to be clear about which administrative positions are required to have a contract. She felt it would be helpful to the district to have clarification so that judgments would not have to be made. Art Rainwater responded that the Statute is permissive for all administrative positions, saying they "may" have contracts. It does not apply to administrators who already have contracts, and the language is not clear about where the permissive language applies because there is no case law or guidance. It is unclear in some job categories if the Statute applies. Under a separate Statute, dealing with broad powers, the school district can issue contracts however it wants. So the school district is not required to issue contracts, but once a contract is issued, the Statute must be followed. He noted the issuing of administrator contracts is governed under Human Resources Policy 2.06 which would require Board action to change.

In response to a question, Art Rainwater stated the term "administrator" as used in the Human Resources Policy is not defined for the purposes of that policy. A determination would be made at the time a person is hired whether or not the position is an administrator position.

It was moved by Erica Laughlin and seconded by Tim Saterfield to refer further discussion regarding the definition of administrator and clarification about which school district administrator positions have statutory job rights to a joint meeting of the Human Resources and Legislative Committees. Motion unanimously carried by those present.

6. Land Developers Providing Property and/or Impact Fees or Other Fees to Facilitate to School Districtsto Facilitate School Districts Building Schools

(Packets included a memorandum from Joe Quick dated 2/23/06 re: Impact Fees and state statute 66.0617- attached to the original of these minutes.)

Joe Quick reviewed the written material he provided. He summarized that current law does not allow impact fees to be collected for facilities owned by a school district. They are typically collected for infrastructure needs such as streets and water and specifically exclude school districts. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards in 1993 supported legislation that would change the law but there have been no concerted recent efforts to do that. It might be worthwhile to have a discussion with city officials to see what their interest in changing the law might be and what they foresee as problems in doing that.


Developer could voluntarily set aside land for the school district, but it could not be a requirement.

School district works jointly with the city from the beginning as neighborhoods are planned. Sometimes land is included for a school; does not mean that will be the actual site of a school.

City has no authority to do it on its own; are limited.

Can be no coercion from city to developer about cooperation to pass school referendum.

Part of a regional problem - Minnesota attempting regional mechanism that controls sprawl by making developers pay a greater share of infrastructure.

District is not missing the chance to intervene; does not have it.

Interested in what other communities are doing.

Falls under TABOR, revenue limits.

Interested specifically in zoning.

Joe Quick indicated if there was interest in changing this legislation, the topic could be introduced to education interest groups and other governmental bodies. In general, he recommended talking with other interested groups and finding willing legislators so that a bi-partisan, larger group introduces the legislation. The school district advances as well as provides reactions to legislation, but less frequently advances. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards usually takes a position guided by their policy and they look for legislation that advances their policies.

There was consensus that Joe Quick follow up and report back about the interest level of other school districts and organizations to request legislative changes to the current law that does not allow impact fees to be collected from a developer for facilities owned by a school district.

7. Assembly Bill 425 relative to School DistrictPerformance Reports

(Written materials provided: Memorandum from Joe Quick dated 2/23/06 re: School Performance Report, Wisconsin Act 62 - attached to the original of these minutes.)

Joe Quick reviewed the information in the written report about changes in the way districts provide their performance reports as a result of Wisconsin Act 62. Research and Evaluation will work with the Department of Public Instruction to create a user friendly system to access information about the school district directly from the information provided to the DPI. The district is now required to have a report available by May 1, instead of January 1; to send it to parents or guardians who request it; and to post the report on the district website.

8. Other Business

There was no other business.

9. Adjournment

It was moved by Erica Laughlin and seconded by Tim Saterfield to adjourn the meeting at 5:43 p.m. Motion unanimously carried by those present.