About $280M will be spent on the most pressing needs at each comprehensive high school. We are estimating $70M per comprehensive high school, but these are not final estimates. Final budgeted expenses will be determined through an approximately 1-year planning process, and may even shift as projects are underway.
When discussing equity in relations to a facility, there are many different metrics you could consider, all of which would seem to support even more funds for each school. Depending on the allegiance of any one person, there is an argument for more at each school. Unfortunately, one referendum cannot solve all needs. For example, fund allocation could be based on very different factors such as student enrollment, building size, architectural style, building age, percentage of students who are economically disadvantaged, actual number of students who are economically disadvantaged, the type and recency of different projects completed at the different schools over the years, and more.
MMSD is committed to equity, which would mean each school would get all that they need for basic building maintenance and repair needs, and then schools would have differentiated projects based on the needs of each unique building. Ultimately, the Board set a budgetary floor of $70M each in order to ensure that all buildings received a minimum of what they need. In planning efforts, MMSD needed to balance what we could ask the community to provide for schools through increased taxes with what the community could bear and support. We did not have evidence that the community could or would support a facilities referendum much larger than the $317M requested, nor that they would support a referendum that committed to giving one school more than another. We are focusing on supporting all comprehensive high schools’ most pressing needs for their particular building to benefit all students in Madison.