Action Alert: Support Smaller Classes in the 2017-18 MMSD Budget

On Monday, June 12, the Madison School Board will meet to discuss the 2017-2018 budget, including a proposed amendment to decrease class sizes and institute hard caps on class sizes at all grade levels.

Over the past few months, MMSD families, staff, and community members have come together to demand a return to reasonable class sizes. Check out a series of op-eds that have come out on this topic: here, here and here.

We aim to demonstrate strong support for reduced class sizes at the June 12 Operations Work Group meeting of the Madison School Board. Please consider attending this meeting at 5:30pm in the Doyle Administration Building (school board meeting calendar here).

Even better, please speak to the board about this issue by providing public comments at the beginning of the June 12 meeting. While you can speak for up to three minutes, a brief statement of support will send a message that small class sizes matter. If you are interested in speaking, you can find instructions on the SCAPE website.

Whether or not you can make it to Monday’s meeting, please take a few minutes to email the MMSD Board of Education letting them know that amending the budget to decrease class sizes and ensure hard caps is the right move. Brief email messages are the most effective.

Here are some points you can include in your public comments or email message:

  • Include your name, role in the district (parent, staff, student, volunteer, citizen, etc.), and school(s) (if applicable)
  • Thank the school board members for taking this issue seriously and listening to staff, families and community members who are concerned about growing class sizes in the district. Tell them you are glad to see a proposed amendment to institue hard caps on class size.
  • Class sizes in the MMSD have been growing for years. The district has eliminated nearly 150 teaching positions since 2014 and has used new changes in state law that allows districts to remove class size caps at low-income schools. Make sure they know you support reallocating and/or adding funding to this year’s budget to reduce class sizes. The 2016 referendum gives the district additional budget flexibility that should be leveraged to address class size.
  • Smaller classes are a proven way to address achievement gaps, particularly in the early grades and at high-poverty schools, and are important at all grade levels. You can find research to back up the benefits of small class sizes here.
    Small class sizes matter for many reasons including closing achievement gaps, meeting the needs of English language learners, inclusion of students with disabilities, implementation of the Behavior Education Plan, school climate, and building positive relationships in our school communities.
  • If you have a connection with one or more MMSD schools, share a personal example that demonstrates the benefits of small classes or the challenges of large classes.
  • Thank the school board members for considering the priorities of families, students, staff and the community when making decisions for our district, including budget decisions.

Here are the email addresses for individual MMSD School Board members:
Seat 1: Anna Moffit,
Seat 2: Mary Burke,
Seat 3: Dean Loumos,
Seat 4: James Howard,
Seat 5: TJ Mertz,
Seat 6: Kate Toews,
Seat 7: Nicki Vander Meulen,
Student rep: Laura Nicholas,

You can reach all school board members (except the student representative) at Email sent to this address will also go to district administration.

Thanks so much for taking an active role in fighting for public education. We hope to see you on Monday, June 12. When we stand together, we win.

Madison School Community Alliance for Public Education (SCAPE)
Madison Teachers, Inc. (MTI) Action Committee

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