DeForest Area Progressives
Meeting notes for Monday, February 2, 2015
Next meeting - PLEASE NOTE – we will meet AT 5:00 P.M., rather than our usual 6:00 p.m., at the DeForest Library to brief each other on our attendance at and testimony before the DeForest Area School Board on the subject of operating expenditures not keeping par with capital expenditures in the April 7th referendum. See notes below.
Eight people attended the February 2nd meeting, including two guests.
We heard a presentation from a DeForest teacher, whom I will not name here due to the sensitive nature of her presentation. Here is a summary of the gist of the presentation:
- The $41 M. referendum on the April 7th ballot contains all capital costs and nothing for operating costs (i.e., teachers’ salaries).
- Act 10 limited the ability of school districts to increase operating costs. Districts may exceed the state cap on operating costs (including teachers’ compensation) only if it is approved by referendum. Capital costs are not limited by Act 10. Districts may borrow whatever they want to build buildings and buy equipment but must stay under the state imposed caps for operating costs, unless the voters of the district approve by referendum exceeding the cap.
- The building referendum up for vote on April 7th is “lipstick on a pig,” because it does not contain necessary increases in teaching and other staff commensurate with the expanded buildings and expected increases in student population.
- The estimated increase in operating costs is $2 M. in addition to the $41 M. of the capital referendum.
- The DeForest Area School District (DASD) is losing experienced teachers, because they do not have an adequate career path. New teachers are paid very well, but the progressions necessary to keep experienced teachers are not there.
- If the governor’s and legislature’s expected proposals go through to allow uncertified teachers, fewer teachers will stay in teaching as a career and the quality of the teaching staff will deteriorate. Expect constant teacher turnover. Quality teaching depends on professional, career teachers, compensated accordingly.
- There is still a teachers’ union in DASD, but it has no power, due to Act 10 provisions.
- Teachers’ rules and regulations and other matters are now covered in a DASD handbook, rather than by a union contract.
- The April 7th referendum should be tied to staffing, as well as building new buildings. The new buildings should be staffed to meet expanded enrollment requirements.
- Detailed information on the referendum and related matters can be found on the DASD website.
Bill is working with Emily Jones of Clean Wisconsin and Shahla Werner of the Sierra Club to be the two main presenters at our April 11th event, “What’s in YOUR Water?” Trout Unlimited might “table” at the event, as may other organizations. We will ask that attendees register on our website. It was felt that we have enough of us to set up, take down, and clean up at the Windsor Neighborhood Center on April 11th. JohnSki got a list of area organizations from Corie Hoffman at the DeForest village office and will email that list to all other DAP members. JohnSki also has a list of area churches to whom to send publicity. Marcia will put a notice in the school publication. Ginny will put up some posters around Madison and the area and put an ad in The Daily Cardinal. John Stanley will put a notice in Isthmus. JohnSki will make sure all DAP members get the notice, as well as Progressive Partners. Karen continues to refine the flyer. Are there any other publicity ideas? JohnSki and Marcia will attend the February 3rd meeting of the Friends of the Yahara River Headwaters (FoYRH), which is serving as the 501c3 fiscal agent for a grant application to the village of DeForest.
John Stanley is promoting a meeting he is involved in on February 19th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sun Prairie Library, discussing the 2nd CD (congressional district) Alliance of the Wisconsin Grassroots Network (WGN), of which the DAP is a member.
John St. also mentioned a meeting he will be attending at UW-Platteville on February 26th with the universities students version of alliance of WGN.
Don’t forget the special meeting time – 5:00 p.m. – and place – DeForest Library – for next Monday’s meeting.