The school board is considering two referenda questions for the community to vote on in 2020 – one for facilities and one for operating expenses.

A facilities referendum would include:

  • Significant renovations that would transform learning environments in our four main high schools, where we can impact a third of our students and every attendance area. 
    $70M per high school

  • Moving our Capital High Westside students out of an over-capacity leased strip mall site and our Capital High Eastside students out of borrowed space inside Lapham Elementary School and into a permanent home in a school building we own, Hoyt School. 
    $6M

  • Exploring the possibility of building a new elementary school in the Rimrock area to give underserved students and families a much-needed school in their neighborhood.
    $25-30M

Why this is important

We have identified a need to bring our school buildings into the 21st century with modern, flexible, classrooms that support multiple learning styles. Safe spaces that are well-lit, inviting, accessible, and climate-controlled and that foster engagement, relationship-building, and positive climate and culture. Buildings that better reflect the value we place on Madison’s growing minds and future citizens, leaders, and workforce.

Madison has an opportunity to impact students in every attendance area, and to modernize these buildings for the community’s use. We have an opportunity to strategically address structural equity concerns through a new Rimrock area school and by moving Capital High students to Hoyt School.

Future Ready

An operating referendum would allow MMSD to:  

  • Provide a variety of student programming in arts, music, science/technology, athletics, and more.

  • Invest in the district’s strategic equity projects that are aligned to the MMSD Strategic Framework.

  • Adhere to the local class size policy.

  • Attract and retain high-quality teachers.

Operational Referendum - 36 Million Over 4 Years - $198 Average Per Household Each YearWhy this is important

While 2019-20 saw a slight increase in revenue limit funding from the state for the first time in four years, this state budget largely continues a ten year pattern of underfunding K-12 education.

MMSD’s budget forecasts $30M in reductions over the next three budget cycles that would impact class size and student programming. A balanced budgeting approach will require both resource reallocation and strategies to increase revenue.


We need your ideas

Through mid-December 2019, we will be seeking your ideas and feedback through community meetings, focus groups, online surveys, and more. We want to know if you agree that these are the right priorities to take action on next to support our students’ future.

We will then bring the plans to the school board, along with a full report of feedback, for consideration in January 2020.

The board plans to make a decision by May 2020 about whether to add the referenda to the ballot in 2020.

Referendum 2020 TimelineThe possibility of this investment for our students would be transformational, and would allow students to learn, lead, and create change for the future.

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