Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Long Range Planning
June 27, 2005
Leopold Elementary School
2602 Post Road
LMC
Madison, Wisconsin

Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Bill Keys at 7:35 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Bill Keys, Lawrie Kobza, Juan José López

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Ruth Robarts, Shwaw Vang, Johnny Winston, Jr.

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES PRESENT: Oliver Kiefer, Lena Song

STAFF PRESENT: Sue Abplanalp, Jane Belmore, Mary Gulbrandsen, Mary Hyde, Joe Quick, Art Rainwater, Ann Wilson - Recording Secretary

1. Public Appearances

Marisue Horton, Crestwood parent - Supports the creation of the task forces and the facilitator position. As well as the PTO, each neighborhood should also be represented.

Nuala Doty, Fitchburg/West Area resident - Parents don't know where their children will attend high school. Produces lots of anxiety; concerned about all children, not just their own. Parents need to know. Real estate affected.

Mary O'Connell, Leopold PFO member - Listed what Leopold families do not want. Difficult to state what they want when parents are not given options. Need task force recommendations soon. Board should apply fair treatment, not give in to special requests.

Kathryn Burns - Give voters another chance to vote on the referendum. Review past task force work and the difficulties of redistricting. To be equitable, need to look for space across the Isthmus; redistrict as an entire district. Look at where seats are, not parent requests.

Beth Zurbuchen - Referendum comments very discouraging; did not do a good job of communicating. Challenge to task forces is to find a decision that doesn't lead to a referendum to build. Decide quickly, parents need information about where their children will go.

Christine Kolar, Fitchburg resident - Support a task force and agree with comments of speaker Mary O'Connell. Not a problem that can be solved just by moving Leopold children - is a city problem that needs to be addressed that way. Most people want to stay in the West Attendance Area.

Sue Wagner - Redistricting is a painful process. Once the decision is made, Board needs to stick with it. Board is perceived as caving in to special interests. Task forces by district set up inequities, divides, places undue burden on communities suffering with needs. It is in the whole city's interest to find space for all children. Would like to see all information compiled so far put on the table. Don't ask parents to wait and see - will be 7 years down the road from the time the need was recognized. Critical that the community see itself as a whole.

Written Registrations - There were three written registrations in support of the task force and another referendum for a new school at the Leopold site. There was one registration asking that a school of poverty not be created when redistricting.

2. Announcements

There were no announcements.

3. Plans to Address Overcrowding at Leopold Elementary School for the 2005-06 School Year

(Written materials provided: Memorandum from Mary Hyde and Jane Belmore re: Accommodating Overcrowding at Leopold School for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 School Years - attached to the original of these minutes.)

Art Rainwater stated it was the direction of the Board that the administration develop recommendations for demographic and long range facilities planning task forces for the East Area and the West/Memorial Areas, and those are presented later on this agenda. The administration recommends that the Long Range Planning Committee and Board of Education, not the task forces, address the question of whether to seek funding for a second building on the Leopold site through referendum and that such a decision be made soon.

It was moved by Juan José López and seconded by Bill Keys that the Board go back to referendum for a second school on the Leopold site and that the administration develop a timetable for accomplishing that.

DISCUSSION/COMMENTS:

Public did not believe there were no alternatives to building. Hoped task force would allow looking at viable options. Will be fa ade if end result is the same.

Have engaged the public and received much input; community said they needed a new school at the Leopold site.

Citizen members, community unanimously supported the referendum; people have spoken.

Number of communities spoke, not just this one; have to listen to entire community.

Motion is premature. Need to present and discuss all options and consequences. Did not have a viable alternative option at time of last referendum.

No date in the motion for referendum. Task forces can do their work. In other action, restored programs that the community voted not to support.

Making commitment to referendum undermines work of task forces. Should be district-wide, staffed with community members, not so many administrators.

Don't want referendum that gets same result. Need to look at whole situation, task force needs to make tough decisions, other options need to be explored, board must be united in support. Investment for entire district, affects the whole city.

See need here to challenge the status quo, do the right thing for children. Three questions on the referendum were too much; confusing. Need to convince all board members; unified support.

It was moved by Juan José López and seconded by Bill Keys to table the motion. Motion unanimously carried.

4. Creation of East Attendance Area Task Force

5. Creation of West/Memorial Attendance Area Task Force

(Written material provided - East Attendance Area Demographics and Long Range Facility Needs Task Force; West/Memorial Attendance Areas Demographics and Long Range Facility Needs Task Force; attached to Memorandum from Art Rainwater re: Recommendations for Task Force - attached to the original of these minutes.)

Art Rainwater reviewed the information in his memorandum and presented the recommendations that define the charge, membership, process and general timelines for the task forces. Work would begin in September and conclude with recommendations by mid-January. More specific meeting tasks and meeting times would be determined by the task forces with support from the administration. It was recommended that the task forces be staffed by a retired district employee who would be responsible for convening and facilitating the meetings, requesting data, and preparing reports. The total projected cost is $25,000 which could be appropriately taken from the Reserve for Contingencies. The Superintendent reiterated that the administration recommends the decision about whether to seek funding for a second building at the Leopold site be made by the Long Range Planning Committee and Board of Education rather than these task forces.

It was moved by Juan José López and seconded by Bill Keys to initiate an East Attendance Area Demographics and Long Range Facility Needs Task Force in accordance with the recommendations presented by the Administration.

DISCUSSION/COMMENTS:

Need to know if a second new building is needed. No need for staff to have votes. Need to work on bridging east/west issues; create another committee to look at both sets of recommendations. Each representative should have a committee at their school to report to, get input and feedback.

Needs to be clearer, stronger statement of charge, including but not limited to looking at alternatives like school closings, consolidating alternative programs, additional pairings.

Task forces need to merge at some point or will have different recommendations that do not meet needs. Problematic to have staff as voting members. Need recommendation before January. Look at Leopold referendum as a specific charge. Last referendum split the city; divided task forces further reinforce dividing. People who do not normally come before the Board need to be represented as at large members - ethnic minorities, low income. Replace three principals with at-large members.

Merging the task forces would result in an unworkable number of members. Issues are different; would not get good recommendations. Intention was that three principal representatives not be from affected schools. Important that every school is represented. At best, task will be extremely difficult. Not the place to heal the east/west issues.

Mistake to have east/west task forces; bigger mistake to follow same LRP process as last time. Review documents to make sure they are complete, set priorities, apply priorities consistently across district. Task force process will repeat what has already been done and not provide guidance.

District-wide task forces not best for kids. Not equitable to exclude staff; their job is to create and promote equity, make best decision for the whole community. Needs a student representative.

Anticipated number of meetings, support bringing documentsback to committee for validation, incorporate suggested changes/additions and bring recommendation for task forces back to committee.

Lawrie Kobza made a substitute motion, seconded by Juan José López, that the administration revise the document with recommendations for the structure of an East Attendance Area Demographics and Long Range Facility Needs Task Force reflecting discussion at this meeting and return to the Long Range Planning Committee. Motion unanimously carried.

It was moved by Lawrie Kobza and seconded by Juan José López that the administration revise the document with recommendations for the structure of a Memorial and West Attendance Areas Demographics and Long Range Facility Needs Task Force reflecting discussion at this meeting and return to the Long Range Planning Committee. Motion unanimously carried.

FOLLOW-UP: Nominations for task force members who represent the three largest ethnic minorities should be submitted to the chair. It was clarified that residence in the attendance area is not required. Chair Bill Keys stated his preference that the nominator remain anonymous.

Schedule for review/validation by the Long Range Planning Committee at their next meeting on July 11 the documents that will be used by the task forces to set priorities and make recommendations.

6. Creation of a Facilitator Position for Both Task Forces

It was moved by Juan José López and seconded by Bill Keys to authorize a staff/facilitator for each of the Task Forces at a projected total cost of $25,000 to be taken from the Reserve for Contingencies. Motion unanimously carried.

Art Rainwater noted the intention is to hire retired administrators with the necessary skills for these positions.

7. Other Business

There was no other business.

8. Adjournment

It was moved by Juan José López and seconded by Lawrie Kobza to adjourn the meeting at 9:46 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.

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