Madison School Board adopts 2 budgets contingent on referendums' outcome –

The Madison School Board adopted two different budgets Monday as it awaits the outcome of a pair of referendums on the Nov. 3 ballot, and both budgets include pay raises for staff.

If the referendums succeed, all teachers and staff will receive a 0.5% increase to their base wages and, on average, another 2% raise from a salary schedule that the board temporarily froze this summer.

If voters reject the referendums on Nov. 3, staff who are due a raise under the salary schedule, which rewards experience and education, will still receive it, but base wages will stay flat.

“This is not a budget that I love, but it’s a budget we’re forced to have as the result of circumstances outside of our control,” board member Cris Carusi said during Monday’s meeting.

She said she had hoped the board would have been able to better compensate teachers, but worried that too many outliers she called a “perfect storm” could affect the district’s financial standing.

“We all wish we could be doing more for our staff right now,” she said.

Board member Ananda Mirilli echoed Carusi and added that the budgets are an effort to balance financials, prevent layoffs and provide a sense of stability in the district despite unpredictable circumstances amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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