Madison School Board approves 2020-21 budgets –

Superintendent Carlton Jenkins praised the budgets, specifically mentioning supporting equity programs while also being conscious of the unknowns still ahead as the pandemic continues. Those equity programs include investments in the Early College STEM Academy, a new literacy curriculum and planning for a full-day 4-year-old-kindergarten pilot to launch in 2021-22.

Board member Cris Carusi also warned of the potential “perfect storm” in coming budgets of property value decreases, lower enrollment and less state aid, which would cause an “excruciatingly” challenging budget without the operating referendum and hard decisions even with a successful referendum.

“I think we all wish we could be doing more for our staff right now,” Carusi said. “If we don’t face that perfect storm in the coming fiscal year, I do hope we are able to come back and do more for our staff in the next budget.”

[Public school enrollment down 3% around Wisconsin]

For now, she said, she hoped the board could make other decisions to alleviate stress for staff, including a vote earlier in the meeting to apply for a state waiver from the Educator Effectiveness evaluation requirement.

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