FOX47 NEWS - Madison Schools Plan Referendum

Jeff Angileri
Aug 18, 2008, 10:52 PM

The Madison Metropolitan School District will likely go to referendum this fall to try and get the money to offset an $8 million budget shortfall.

Superintendent Daniel Nerad outlined his plan at Monday night's special board of education meeting.

It comes down to this: a three year recurring referendum, millions more from taxpayers, and a commitment on the district's behalf to cut costs.

Calling his plan shared responsibility, Nerad said, We're working to balance the needs of children with the needs of tax payers, that in its totality is a significant list of program areas.

The proposal calls for $5 million in 2009, and $4 million in both 2010 and 2011.

The board estimates that will mean an additional $27.50 in taxes for a $250,000 house in the first year.

Nerad says spreading the increase over three years puts less of a burden on taxpayers, and still provides money he says is necessary maintain the current quality of education.

Board member Marjorie Passman, said, We're not adding anything to our school district, we're taking away. We're desperate. We need this passed. And even if it is passed, we're not adding anything back.

The board will gain an addition $3 million by getting rid of 10 staff members, and reducing other expenditures throughout the district.

Board member Arlene Silveira said, We're going to continue to look at those efficiencies in the future, and different ways of doing business , and I think that's the key message we want the community to understand.

The board of education will vote whether or not to accept Nerad's plan on August 25th. They're asking the public to review the referendum and give the board some feedback before it makes it's decision.

The entire proposal will be available online Tuesday afternoon at www.mmsd.org.

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