$26 million MMSD referendum overwhelmingly passes

School board member Hughes: Referendum passing is 'gratifying'
$26 million MMSD referendum overwhelmingly passes

A $26 million referendum for the Madison Metropolitan School District passed overwhelmingly Tuesday night, leading the way for the district to move forward with programs to close the achievement gap and increase high school graduation rates.

The referendum allows the district to permanently exceed state-imposed revenue limits by $26 million each year into perpetuity. The additional funds will be phased in over four years, so 2019 will be the first year the full $26 million would go into effect.

Funds will not be invested into buildings, but the people inside of them. Over the last two years, the district cut 120 positions. Cuts in state funding and an expected 1 percent increase in revenue, will eventually affect the classroom, MMSD Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said.

School board member Ed Hughes said passage of the referendum was “gratifying” and will allow the the district to regain local control over its budgeting.

“It will allow us to make the kind of budgeting decisions we think are best for our children,” Hughes said.

The plan will raise the district’s revenue cap by $5 million in 2016-17, another $5 million in 2017-18, an additional $8 million in 2018-19 and another $8 million in 2019-20.