Madison School Board member Mary Burke, who also is running for governor, offered further thoughts Tuesday on her votes Monday night against the $392 million Madison School District 2013-14 amended budget and the $257.7 million property tax levy, both approved 6-1 by the School Board on Monday.

Among other things, Burke noted Monday that some of the budget's current expenditures should be reallocated to increase teachers' pay.

She said before her vote that last year’s unexpected “windfall” of state aid used to make subsequent one-time purchases that she said have since been incorporated into the district’s budget should have been reconfigured to also give raises to district teachers.

“My concern is very little of it went into increasing pay for teachers,” she said.

Here's the statement Burke, a Democrat, sent to the State Journal today:

"I am fully committed to excellence in public education in Madison and supporting our teachers and staff while ensuring that government lives within the means of its citizens at a time when so many Madison families are struggling. This budget increases spending by $16 million over the last 2 years with only a small portion going to increases in teacher pay. Last year's budget included many one-time investments in maintenance, IT and curriculum because of a one-time, unexpected increase in state aid. My opposition to this year's budget is rooted in the fact that it takes that $16 million from last year's budget and makes it part of our regular operations going forward. The mill rate has gone up substantially over the last 5 years and this additional increase on top of a property tax burden is too much for many taxpayers to bear. I believe we could have done more to limit this increase by negotiating tougher with vendors, cutting down on travel, holding off on implementing new programs rather than asking Madison citizens to cut their budgets when they are already struggling."

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(49) comments

Tpartywarrior
Tpartywarrior


Did Burke throw Tanya under the bus? Did Burke Bork Bjork?

Mary Burke’s senior political adviser is Tanya Bjork, whom Doyle hired as national liaison. The appointment was controversial partly because Bjork was convicted of two misdemeanors related to the caucus scandal for campaigning on state time and trying to cover it up.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/on-the-capitol-meet-the-burke-team---/article_c64a4e78-8e40-542c-afe0-d2e72d5d5a49.html#ixzz2hVsYViUL

Wis_taxpayer
Wis_taxpayer

OMG This women can never be Governor… she actually proposes changing something that costs money and raising taxes to pay for it!

Unlike Walker and the Republicans who never pay for anything and push an increased burden on our children and grandchildren!

Republicans: Vote for me, I'll give you a tax rebait (and put it onto your children to pay off)

Also, I just love the Republicans argument that "higher pay should be accompanied by greater accountability and consequences for substandard performance."

Except the hypocritical Republicans don't apply the same standard to themselves in the House!

House Republicans showed up for work only 134 days in 2013 the least amount of working days ever in the history of our Country!

And what does the House calendar look like for 2014? only 113 days! another new record for doing nothing!

But hey, we can't hold these Republicans to the same standard we want to impose on teachers! After all shouldn't Republicans get paid for doing nothing?

walkerbacker
walkerbacker

OMG it's Kathleen Falk with a wig on.

Norwood44

Hockey. So your contention is that all Harvard economic research is biased because of the tenure model and its educational platform?
That Harvard economists can't weigh in on public education? Wow. That sounds rather Tea Partyish.

Traderjoe
Traderjoe

......"this additional increase on top of a property tax burden is too much for many taxpayers to bear. I believe we could have done more to limit this increase by negotiating tougher with vendors, cutting down on travel, holding off on implementing new programs rather than asking Madison citizens to cut their budgets when they are already struggling." Hey Mary, here's a RADICAL idea, how about giving those "already struggling" taxpayers some TAX-RELIEF in the form of tax cuts ????

Traderjoe
Traderjoe


Let me just add some data from Harvard University economist Caroline Hoxby. Her research has shown that teacher unionization helps explain why schools can perform worse when given more resources. Hoxby found that teacher unions act to increase school resources but reduce the productivity with which these resources are used. The cumulative effect is a reduction in school productivity (the ratio of student performance to spending).

HockeyTeam

Odd bit of research don't you think? Coming out of tenure granting institution rated the best center of higher learning in the world. Completely contradicts the thesis.

Next paper cited by Traderjoe: 'Being a Genetically Elite Athlete, Reduces Production on the Basketball Court' by Miami Heat All-Star Lebron James.

eclectic

Classic lefty response.....ignore the substance and attack the source.

Traderjoe
Traderjoe

Do you dispute it's existence or just chose to ignore it ?

HockeyTeam

@Traderjoe

Neither, actually. I did however question the isolation of union presence as the sole or primary factor affecting student performance. Thus any correlation is quite anecdotal, and quite frankly flies in the face of the education model of the authors own institution(s), and off the world's best performing school systems's (believe it or not Europe has unions as well).

196ski
196ski

Well, that didn't last long did it? I had high hopes for Burke and will continue to listen but that was the wrong message to send. Teachers need to be paid well, excellent teachers need to be rewarded and under performers needed to be given a chance to improve and then cut free. The taxpayers of the State are investing in education, it isn't too much to ask that the results of that investment be evaluated.

Reply
Reply

Candidates of all political persuasions seem to have trouble recognizing "campaign suicide" on an array of issues. Here we go again ... who's the least-worst of the bunch?

pete
pete

if she can devise a merit based system that shows a correlation between student achievement and the pay of a teacher, I'm all for it. If not, why do they deserve more money?

wagofthefinger

Time after time merit pay has been proven not to work. It is not the answer.

pete
pete

so what is?

PapaLorax

what leads to better results? kids being sent to schools ready to learn. Kids who are sent ready to learn in Wisconsin do exceptionally well in any ranking.

or what is the answer to getting the teachers paid more? For me that is simple...they need to tell their school boards that they want more of the pie. Less subs for all day planning, less administrators and staff because they will pick up more of that fill-in time. My experience is teachers would rather have the time and added staff then the extra money though.

Norwood44

Wag. Teachers grade children every single day, if not hourly. Yet their union resists legit evaluation at every turn, with seniority being the only value. That would be like giving kids A's if they stayed in third grade for nine years. The negative results of the collective system on educational quality has been proven by countless studies, be it the achievement gap in Madison, or the rankings of US student performance against others in the the developed world. We cannot lock great teachers into the same compensation model as bad teachers any more than we can give A students a C because the kid next to them underperforms. It's defies all logic and honesty.

Lexus Peterson

None of this matters. MMSD management will continue to be a joke. The school board will continue to not give a crap about tax payers. Mary Burke will lose. Walker will continue to be governor. Unions will stay strong in Madison. And we will have to listen to this @$"& for over a year and in December 2014 things will be exactly the way they are now.

truthzeeker

JenniferDDobson. You are selling something.....get off this site!

Apparently the word must be out. Burke is going to be a challenge to Walker. And the boo birds are already coming out to attempt to clip Burkes wings. What surprises me is why are they attacking the educators? Has anyone of them taken a look at how much money is spent on other then teachers salaries? The people directly in contact with the children are the teachers. If we hire mediocre teachers, we will get inferior graduates. And the reason we are losing out in the world is we are not keeping up with the teaching skills of other countries.

PapaLorax

I think you would find most are not attacking educators...but the system. But here the attack is squarely on the back of everyone who starts flame throwing on Walker for hating education because of Act 10....as if the only way to prove you are pro-education is to continue to pile the money up more and more each year.

You have a MMSD school board member who is critical of increased spending...such things from a member of the GOP would get WEAC fireballs about how they want to destroy public education.

You have a MMSD saying programs should be cut...without naming any of course...such things from a GOP member would get met with such claims as wanting kids to be starved and illiterate.

TheRestOfTheStory

Most don't attack educators. The problem is that the ones who do stand out in your mind. For example 'Da Truth' - a truly rabid anti-teacher Tea Party member, and John Galt - a true believer that educators are corrupted because they belong to a Union and therefor don't care about the kids. And these are only two examples.

Again, it's the extremists that stand out in your perception of how the 'opposite' side talks about subjects that color your perceptions on these forums. I do find this to be a result of divide and conquer, despite which side does it. A truly sick political tactic.

John_Galt

We already have mediocre teachers. Hire some great teachers and I'll open my wallet
I remember a time when teachers did it for the love of educating the children, nit just so they could retire early and have a great pension.

milton's fried man
milton's fried man

Unsupported by fact

gkmoynihan
gkmoynihan

Really? All but 62 of the 400+ school districts in the state are outperforming MMSD. Does the word "mediocre" mean something different to state workers?

https://apps2.dpi.wi.gov/sdpr/spr.action

Norwood44

Miltie. Here are some facts for you. The denial of the public school crisis by you and others is crippling students, families and the nation. It has to end. We need new models that work for everyone. Read and enjoy. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2012/03/26/7-signs-that-americas-educational-decline-is-jeopardizing-its-national-security/

wagofthefinger

The fact that you go by John Galt pretty much negates everything you say.

John_Galt

How so?

eclectic

Actually, I think it sends a positive message.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

I wouldn't mind if teachers got raises. I do think they deserve them.

However, the MMSD has not proven to be careful administrators of funding increases. I am not going to forget the 25 million dollar emergency referendum that we voted in favor of back in 2006. Most of that money got frittered away without actually taking care of the concerns that they set out to address. Where did that money go? Nerad left because he couldn't get to the bottom of it either and I think it begs the question. "What the hell is going on out there?" to quote the great Vince Lombardi.

This is exactly why Burke is a formidable candidate for governor. She is not afraid to ask the tough questions and I do believe that she is at least considering how we spend our money and I think she cares about the outcomes.;

Take a walk down memory lane and look at this article from the good ol' WSJ.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/education/local_schools/madison-district-got-m-from-taxpayers-for-aging-schools-where/article_b06924b8-78b9-11df-ae82-001cc4c002e0.html

PapaLorax

just remember - the teachers union doesn't want high paid teachers...they want lots of teachers.

milton's fried man
milton's fried man

Unsupported by fact

eclectic

It didn't take long for Burke's true color as a Union Puppet to show through.

Rather than prioritizing increased teacher pay, she should be prioritizing improving student performance. (And for the record, study after study has demonstrated that there is no correlation between teacher pay and student performance.)

Norwood44

Higher pay should be accompanied by greater accountability and consequences for substandard performance. But paying great teachers more is a good thing. Don't know if professional systems to fairly evaluate are in place.

Nav

@Norwood44,

Please advise us who has designated you as someone to overlook whether or not professional systems to fairly evaluate are in place. That is something for each organization to decide for its own?

Your anti-union slant is in almost every post you write. I think you may have unionitis!

John_Galt

There is a good reason for anti union bias.
My own son had issues fitting into the current education system. Instead of trying to find a way to help kids that do not fit the cookie-cutter system now in place, they just said, hey, too bad, they can't all excel.
That is complete BS.

TheRestOfTheStory

And your comment is complete BS. My son had Tourettes and the school system went out of it's way to help him, including pulling in a doctor with a video session explaining the the entire staff what Tourettes is, how it's dealt with, and what the staff should do.

And this is a union school. So I say again, BS.

John_Galt

My son didn't have Tourettes so he fell through the cracks

Norwood44

Rest. Half the kids of color in Madison fall through the cracks, yet you base your conclusion on the efficacy of Madison schools on the experience of one child with a rare medical condition. Pretty shaky methodogy that flies in the face of the data on Madison's schools. So there's that.

Norwood44

Nav. There was no mention of unions in my post, but your unenlightened comment defines the clear difference between our positions. You think great teachers should be paid the same as substandard teachers. I see that as a recipe for educational failure. The trending numbers that reflect US educational performance in relationship to the rest of the world's developed nations prove that out. Your position undermines students, schools and our nation's future. Your posts are proof of the dumbing down of the system.

Moles

When are the Dems going to get a viable candidate with a defined platform. I want to vote for someone other then Snot nosed Scotty so badly, but am offered no alternatives. Incidently, (sic)ask her where they make Trek bikes now!

John_Galt

During her announcement, didn't she make the claim that Wisconsin workers could compete and win against any in the world?
Well... except for the ones that worked for her. Hypocrite.

MadisonCitizen

Totally disagree. Trek has 1000 employees in the USA. They manufacture their high-end bikes here and source low-end bikes and some components in China. This is a great employer in Wisconsin & a losing critique of Trek / Burke. I would rather challenge her by saying she had little to do with that success.

John_Galt

How many more jobs would we have here if Trek built all the bikes here?

NeilRoland

Politicians, especially politically candidates, are behaving more like pimps. They advocate spending other people's monies to seek political support from special interest groups. Paying teachers more money will not improve public education. I suppose that's all you can expect from politicians who have no ideas of their own.

TheRestOfTheStory

I don't totally disagree with you, but I don't totally agree either. The countries with the best education systems in the world pay their teachers as they would any specialist. The system is made, in those countries, to take advantage of superior skills to teach in a superior style.

I would say that the larger issue is that the politicians fingers are too far into the education system for it to have any continuity between various local, state and federal levels.

DaTruth
DaTruth

Well, expect an announcement from WEAC supporting Burke, soon. Pander on, it worked for Barrett.

PapaLorax

"holding off on implementing new programs "

specifics please - you are a candidate for governor. Which programs (hence jobs) do you want to cut? and then the followup, why do you hate education so much?

John_Galt

But she is FOR education!
At least if you mean teacher pay only when it comes to education....

happydays

Pandering for votes

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