Friday, December 5, 2014

D181 BOE President Turek: Flip Flopper, Flubber, and Facilitator of Farcical Tax Levy Fodder

As we wait for Board Docs for the next BOE meeting to post early Saturday morning, in lieu of a "Daily Series" post on Marty Turek, we are posting this instead:

Readers, if there were ever a time to pay attention to the actions of our elected school board members, this is it. Next Monday, December 8, 7pm at Elm School, a vote on the tax levy will take place. Our BOE will decide if they want to vote to the max or not, which has significant consequences given the cloud of uncertainty with employee pensions possibly being shifted to school districts. There has been limited discussion from the BOE and Dr. White, but as of this writing, we don't know the direction the BOE appears to be headed. 

Next Monday, we do know, however, that Marty Turek will probably be back after a long hiatus from his role as a strict meeting facilitator. Yes, there is a stark difference in his ability to squelch any form of discussion compared to the candid debate that was evident at the last meeting with Secretary Garg at the helm (Click to open 11/24/14 BOE meeting podcast). 
If we were placing bets, we would double down on the following: 

1. Expect to hear Turek grovel toward the Clarendon HIlls Anti-Tax Group, now that he has been endorsed by the Caucus. Turek will sputter, spin, and stammer while he tries supporting what they want to hear, which is a lower tax levy % than the maximum allowed under the tax cap law, leaving over $500,000 in taxes uncollected in order to keep property taxes lower by not capturing new construction taxes. 

2. Sir Corcoran or one of the D86 Anti Tax Majority BOE may show up with a statement in hand about keeping the levy lower. Corcoran graced the audience with his presence (in his own mind) one year ago, and the pressure was clearly on Turek to fall in line. But, gasp! After one or more of the D181 BOE members suggested going for the maximum levy, Marty was flustered, flabbergasted and subsequently flip flopped (click to open 12/9/13 BOE meeting podcast). 

3. Superintendent White may once again display his eagerness and willingness to go along with whichever way the levy (among other topics) winds are blowing, despite the fact that there isn't a superintendent within a tri-county radius who would ever consider not maxing the levy out to squeeze every last wheat penny known in existence from tax bills to supplement the district budget. Memo to White: You should step up and state that the monies that would be captured from new construction will be placed in a rainy day pension fund. This means travel requests from Kurt Schneider or his cadre of consultants should not be compensated using funds from a higher tax levy, among other things.    

Ah, yes. The tax levy vote is upon our elected board. 

Will we hear rational, measured discussion? The next election is April 7, 2015.  

Let the fodder begin.


Anonymous said...

Board Docs is posted. I was very impressed with the report.

The administration laid out 3 options for the tax levy. I support option 2, and am curious what other people think.

Dr. White also laid out a detailed plan for reviewing the learning for all plan and for bringing in a facilitator. The plan also allows opportunities for prospective board members to weigh in.

Community members have been asking for a break out of teacher salary costs and Dr. White provided just that in board docs. Thank you for this refreshing transparency.

Jill Quinones said...

I don't see anything about a facilitator being mentioned on Board Docs/Dr. White's Report. Where is that?

Anonymous said...

At the last boe meeting his report detailed the need for a facilitator. In this report, under strategic planning, he lists different firms to consider and a possible timetable.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see this "After their analysis, PMA and the auditors believe there
are excess funds ranging from $1.4 - $2.1 million." under Potential bond and interest excess. It seems there are some last minute discussions about excess funds and the tax levy.

I agree that Dr. White's reports are very detailed BUT I don't agree with the thought process for another macro level presentation about learning for all. I would like to be the first one to say Are you kidding me?? Also that's great that they are starting the Madison school principal search but what about a new assistant superintendent for Learning. Doesn't Dr. White realize this community has no faith in this individual to lead our district for curriculum. Three years of this nonsense since the gifted evaluation started and still no qualified individual.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the previous comment. What good is detail when there are no changes and no leadership being demonstrated by Dr White? Seems to me he is just picking up where Schuster left us and is now taking months to look into this ridiculous learning plan. What does Kurt Schneider do for his high salary?

Anonymous said...

I am also frustrated by another global review of L4All. Of course we all believe in the concept of learning for all students! What we (parents, teacher and students)DON'T believe in is inclusive classrooms (in the academic sense), less classroom time for students with teachers, homogenous pace, group lesson, homework and assessments for ALL students, lowered identification standards for accelerated and advanced middle school classes which slow down the pace and frustrate both students who shouldn't be in those classes, those who should AND teachers, and expecting all teachers to come up with lesson plans for so many different ability level students. Not to mention that there is almost no advanced learning/gifted program for the students who need these services and we are so far behind other districts on foreign language, science programming and common core it is an embarrassment. Yes, we do need to educate our BOE on what the L4All terms mean now (versus 3 years ago), however, if we keep changing the meaning of the terms and how it's implemented (which is what has been happening on a school by school basis over the past 3 years)this education will be yet another waste of time and just delay a solid and consistent education for our students. How much more time, money and effort are we going to put towards this "plan"? We have subs (when we can find them) all over the district, unhappy and confused students and parents, test scores falling or too low in many areas and a high level of dissatisfaction and disagreement among numerous teachers and principals. When will it be enough? If the facilitators chosen have any predisposition whatsoever to inclusive classrooms or relationship to Capper and Fratura or UWM, I will not listen to one word they have to say. Waste of time. Get an independent organization or someone from the Northwestern University education department who is familiar with our district, population and high academic standards in the real world and let them give their opinion. Or, better yet, just have an honest conversation with our own teachers and principals. Instead of saying that those who disagree with parts of the plan need to "see the light" maybe just admit that they have far more experience with students and in the classroom than the DOL and just let them do their jobs?? Crazy thought, I know.