Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Long Range Planning
April 26, 2004
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, Room 103
Madison, Wisconsin

The meeting of the Long Range Planning Committee was called to order by Chair Bill Clingan at 7:24 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Bill Clingan, Juan José López


STAFF PRESENT: Jane Belmore, Mary Gulbrandsen, Doug Pearson, Roger Price, Art Rainwater, Jake Staudt, Ken Syke, Donna Williams, Barbara Lehman-Recording Secretary


MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Bill Keys, Ruth Robarts

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Juan José López and seconded by Bill Clingan that the minutes of the Long Range Planning Committee dated December 8, 2003 be approved as distributed. Motion unanimously carried by those present.

2. Public Appearances

Terri Carufel-Wert, co-president of the Chavez PTO, was concerned about overcrowding at Chavez based on continuing construction, undeveloped areas, and future enrollment projections. She asked that action be taken now before it becomes more overcrowded (a copy of her statement is attached to the original of these minutes).

Don Severson/Barbara Schrank/Bruce Kahn distributed budget comparisons compiled by Ms. Schrank, including a column headed "Percent Change Comparing 03-04 vs. 04-05." They made several observations and recommendations relative to software and accounting systems, consistency, "crosswalking," and what the public has a right to expect (a copy of their statement is attached to the original of these minutes as well as the budget comparison sheet).

There was confirmation that the information had not been shared with Art Rainwater and Roger Price prior to this meeting and the speakers agreed to do this in the future. There was some response from the administration about the fact that the district is running a parallel system, that they were clear upfront about the impossibility of cross-walking every transaction between budgets, that the accounting structure was at issue--not the software system. Goal is to make the budget completely understandable and able to be manipulated by the district and the public. Board members will be able to get into it on line. All changes were documented to the Board about how the budget was balanced. It was requested that Roger Price go through the version submitted by the speakers. There was also discussion about including public appearances at the budget meetings and the workshops. Mr. Kahn made some additional remarks regarding the budget and his opinion that the district needs to do its budgeting differently.

Barbara Schrank, in response to the district's analysis of 4th and 5th grade strings, she stated that she found major inconsistencies. She wanted to form a committee to address this part of the curriculum. She was told that the administration was not looking at strings now and did not want any public input. She was not sure why the Fine Arts professional was not asked to work on this analysis during the last two years. She indicated that cost per student was overstated. She said that several things were missing and wanted to know the written policies and procedures for developing the information. She wanted to have this item offered as an amendment to the budget (a copy of her analysis is attached to the original of these minutes).

An internal committee, including the Fine Arts Coordinator, did look at options for delivery of strings and made some recommendations. Roger Price asked that Ms. Schrank work with him and his staff to go through the item.

A summary of School Board decisions on 2003-04 fees (if the referendum did not pass) was distributed (a copy is attached to the original of these minutes).

There was some discussion about how the budget seminars provided concrete ideas about how to make the process clearer and better. Ideas were passed on to the Board from the Budget Seminar attendees but were not discussed and did not represent any kind of consensus. Budget is "bare bones" version because it is two months early; budget book will have all descriptions. Department budgets were studied. The speakers went on to say that they were motivated to provide assistance as the Board considers the budget and to provide specific solutions for the best possible management of the district's assets and resources. They were frustrated that they have received no feedback and stated that they know there are problems with budgeting and financing in the district. There was more conversation about the motives of the speakers and the strong statements made about district staff and the Board members' handling of the budget process.

Sue Mowris, member of Chavez PTO, was also concerned about the alarming rate at which the student population is growing at Chavez. She was uneasy about asking the voters to build four new schools in five years to accommodate student enrollment in different parts of the city. On behalf of the PTO, two plans were presented for specific changes relative to Orchard Ridge and Falk students (a copy of her statement is attached to the original of these minutes). She asked that changes be considered now.

Beth Zurbuchen, Leopold PFO, offered to help working toward a new school on Leopold property.

There was one written registration in support of boundary changes for the Chavez area to help with the overcrowding and consistent growth in numbers.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

5. Madison Metropolitan School District Energy Report

Deferred to a future meeting.

6. Construction of Cellular Towers on School District Property

Deferred to a future meeting.

4. School Building Capacities for Students

(Packets included policies and procedures; physical plant capacity methodology and current analysis; enrollment projections; and a list of current issues. Copies are attached to the original of these minutes).

The Superintendent reported that within the next five years the district will have to build three new elementary schools. The first would probably be at the Leopold site, and within that same time frame, one on the southwest side, then the east side. The district has land for two. Long-term planning issues will include the issue of the last year of the maintenance referendum next year and possibly renewing that next spring. This meeting was informational to review Board policies and processes used in the past. Mary Gulbrandsen reviewed the contents of the packet. Roger Price explained the district's performance on the enrollment report as very good districtwide, pretty good by grade, but more difficult at the school and grade level because of movement, etc. Enrollment numbers are certified in December. Numbers of Latino population have been adjusted based on trends and community changes; no longer doing a five year rolling average. The committee will be revisiting the policies both statutory and those at the discretion of the Board. It was confirmed that open enrollment capacity is allocation and not the building. Mr. Price briefly reviewed the current status of subdivisions in the city.

Discussion: General theme is growth on the perimeter and a decline in the interior; Kennedy and Elvehjem are seeing a decline. Monitoring is very difficult but the district tries to pick up on a trend. Current calculations for a single family home use .4 children; .2 elementary, .1 middle school, and .1 high school. Work will take place over the summer with decisions in the fall. There was some discussion about having to deal with declining enrollment vs. overcrowding, building additions vs. new schools, going to referendum or getting loans, east side site and Leopold site, ongoing negotiations for a west side location, time on a bus, diversity, and inclusionary zoning, etc.

7. Other Business

No discussion.

8. Adjournment

It was moved by Juan José López and seconded by Bill Clingan that the meeting adjourn at 8:52 p.m. Motion unanimously carried by those present.