Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes for Performance and Achievement
November 8, 2004
Memorial High School
201 South Gammon Road
Wisconsin Neighborhood Center
Madison, Wisconsin

Performance and Achievement Committee meeting was called to order by member Shwaw Vang at 5:12 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Bill Clingan, Juan José López (5:27 p.m.), Shwaw Vang

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Bill Keys, Ruth Robarts, Johnny Winston, Jr.

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES

PRESENT: Oliver Kiefer

STAFF PRESENT: Jane Belmore, Lucy Chaffin, Mary Gulbrandsen, Steve Hartley, Bob Nadler, Roger Price, Art Rainwater, Attorney Clarence Sherrod, Ken Syke, Barbara Lehman Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Bill Clingan and seconded by Shwaw Vang to approve the minutes of the Performance and Achievement Committee dated November 1, 2004 as distributed. Motion unanimously carried by those present.

2. Public Appearances

Becky Van Houten, President of the Association of Accredited Centers and Director of Preschool of the Arts, stated that their current goal is to negotiate a collaborative partnership to provide four-year-old kindergarten for all children in Madison. She explained what they have been doing up to now working with the Union (Madison Teachers, Inc.), the City, and the District. There are some agreements to date everyone agrees it is a great thing. There are concerns around a delivery model and serving low-income children. They cannot agree to displace their own teachers for 2 hours per day and money is an obstacle. She felt there would be no cost to the district and that a grant could be obtained to get over the first-year operation hurdle. She added that the governor's request needed to be supported.

There was some discussion about whether the governor's proposal counted all the four-year-olds in the city and that some information had been received from other providers who say they would not support the proposal if their teachers are displaced. Ms. Van Houten replied that MTI should be asked to give a waiver to teachers who teach in accredited programs. She was asked to clarify what she thought the governor was going to put in his budget. She thought funding for 4K would be available to school districts in the first year that 4K is offered instead of having to wait until the third year. She added that the State Superintendent put it in her budget. Mr. Rainwater clarified that DPI's proposal was only for 1,000 students statewide and that Ms. Burmaster's proposal was to do a pilot. The Madison district has 1,800 students alone and the limit would be 100 students per school district. He explained that absent full funding, a 4K program would not be doable for the Madison district. If it passes through the Legislature, the district would have to apply for it. The current pilot program serves 70 kids at two sites and receives no state funding; grants will end after this school year.

Dorothy Conniff requested that the school board actively advocate for the Child Care Association's proposal. She noted that there were $4 million in grants that could be provided. She also noted that the Association made a mistake in structuring the proposal and offended the Union but with the school board's help a solution could be found. She noted that it is clear that DPI has approved other plans. She wanted the Board members to get to know the work being done in the early childhood education field and indicated that it would make the work of the district's teachers a lot easier.

Juan José López arrived at 5:27 p.m.

Ms. Conniff indicated that the proposal could be converted into a grant; right now it is an offer of in-kind services with no money exchanged. She indicated positively that there are allies that could be mobilized.

Discussion: The project would have to be made a priority in the district's budget and in negotiations. The issue of funding remains. It was suggested that the Nuestro Mundo and Wexford Ridge models could be used to go forward and have the Administration work with them under the Board's parameters.

It was moved by Bill Clingan and seconded by Shwaw Vang to ask the Administration to meet with the Association and with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and report back to the Board of Education.

Discussion: Include in the meeting child care providers who are not members of the Association.

Stephanie Mueller, member of the Board of Directors for Preschool of the Arts, stated that there are parents who are willing to advocate for the 4K proposal from the Association. She supported a collaborative effort to figure out the funding and the staffing and suggested that the in-kind proposal could be the jumpstart. She acknowledged the Board's position but added that the evidence is overwhelming and urged the Board to pursue it.

Discussion: MTI's interests would be represented by the Administration once the funding part is solved.

Mr. Clingan refined his motion to state that the Administration, the Association, and DPI would meet once or twice and report back just on the financial aspect of the proposal.

Mr. López noted that there were 11 written registrations in support of coming to a resolution regarding a 4K program. He also noted that he supported being proactive in this area in order to better serve the students of color coming in and that he knew funding would difficult.

Motion, as refined, carried unanimously.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

4. Exploring the Possibility of Establishing a Four-Year-Old Kindergarten Program in the Madison Metropolitan School District

(Packets included the Administration's reaction to Madison's Accredited Early Educators 4-K Proposal (10/13/04). A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

Please refer to Item 2.

5. Other Business

No discussion.

6. Adjournment

It was moved by Shwaw Vang and seconded by Bill Clingan to adjourn the meeting at 5:57 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.

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