The Madison Board of Education will discuss the staff cost of living adjustment tonight at 5:15pm in the Doyle Building, room 103.
The good news: The district is offering our staff the full 2.13 percent cost of living adjustment. This is the full amount they can bargain for under current state law. MMSD staff pay has not kept up with the cost of living since 2011, and this increase is a critical piece of improving staff morale and retention.
The bad news: The MMSD administration has proposed divisive budget cuts to pay for this cost of living increase:
- The proposed cuts include $300,000 to address low pay and wage compression for Special Education Assistants (SEAs) and other hourly staff. These are the lowest-paid staff in the district, and this relatively modest investment will help retain those who have served MMSD students—particularly students with disabilities—for many years.
- Students and families across the district would be affected by proposed cuts to services including student conferences, Parent Academy, Family and Community Engagement Teams and 9th grade mentoring. You can see the full list of proposed cuts on slide 6 of tonight’s budget presentation. This presentation doesn’t include the impact of these proposed cuts on students and families.
SCAPE supports giving our staff the full 2.13 percent cost of living adjustment. However, there are better ways to fund this adjustment than what the administration is proposing. Some possibilities include reducing funds budgeted for conference travel and rental of meeting facilities, and a one-time draw on the general fund balance. The staff cost of living adjustment should be paid for with funds that don’t affect services for our most vulnerable students and families, or our lowest-paid staff.
The board will vote on the 2018-19 budget on June 25. We’ll keep you posted as this situation evolves. In the meantime, please consider writing the board or attending tonight’s meeting, to let the district know that we are paying attention.