Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent Dan Nerad has proposed about $3.5 million in additional spending on top of the school district’s current budget for 2012.
MMSD spokesperson Ken Syke said about $2.5 million of that money will come from sources previously unaccounted for, but income taxes in the City of Madison may need to be upped to cover the remaining additions.
“$1.6 million of that [money] became available because of debt defeasance, and $937,000 of it is coming from revenue from a Medicaid time study,” he said.
In addition to the newly available $2.5 million, the district has introduced a recommendation for a total of $1,034,935 in additional funding for school maintenance programs, a statement issued by the district said.
Should the district’s recommendation be approved by the city, the proposed additional funding will be covered by Madison taxpayers, according to the statement.
Maintenance projects covered by the $1,034,935, the statement said, will include improvements to school safety and security systems, replacements for sections of roofs and improving handicap accessibility in elementary schools.
A priority for the $2.5 million, said Syke, is improving the technology available to students in Madison schools.
“We know that our technology is not what it should be in schools,” he said. “We’ve been searching for more capital or another opportunity to improve the situation. It seems like this might be it.”
According to MMSD’s statement, almost $700,000 will be allotted for technology if the additional budget is improved.
Currently, there are 2,500 computers in the district that do not meet “minimum operating standards”. These would be replaced and hardware for computers district-wide would be improved.
In addition to the funding for technological improvements, Nerad’s proposed addition to the budget includes eight other major projects.
Behind technology, the most financially significant of these projects is an adjustment to open enrollment. This project will receive $657,551, the statement said.
The funding for the adjustment is in response to an increase in the number of students who are able to openly enroll in schools outside of the district. MMSD administration has recommended the budget increase to account for 95 more students leaving than initially budgeted for.
Another significant result of the additional funding would be increased funding for programs of students with atypical needs. This would include additional funding for both Read 180 and Talented and Gifted (TAG) programs, according to the statement.
The Read 180 program, the statement said, is being put in place as a reading intervention for underperforming students at 11 middle schools and four high schools.
The additional funding for this program, totaling $150,000, would allow the district to better meet the needs of students who need additional help with reading by providing additional staff and resources for the initiative.
The statement also said this additional funding is in response to increased need for more challenging schoolwork.
The $30,000 allotted by Nerad’s budget would allow for more curriculum materials, staff education and materials to support elementary and middle school TAG programs.
The revisions to the school district’s budget will be discussed Oct. 31 at a Board of Education meeting.