This blog represents my opinions and my opinions alone, and certainly doesn't represent the collective thoughts of any of the Boards or organizations that I serve on. Unfortunately I make all sorts of miistakes, I'm a picky eater, I can't sing and I just recently found out I have been spelling certain words in my vocabulary wrong my entire life. That being said, I still continue to muddle ever onward. Welcome.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Festivus For The Rest Of Us

For those ten or fifteen people who didn't make it down to Winnequah Park for the Monona Family Fall Festival, this is what you missed:

Pony rides! Sponsored by Kellie Unke and Steve Seeliger of Stark Realty!

Local vendors offered some great items: bubble wands from Kristin Yates's jewelry company, Blue Hill By Hand, fresh cheeses from Farmer John, designer cookies and fresh honey products, as well as 10 minute chair massages from Monona massage practioner, Ellen Moen. Ellen, who can be reached at 442-0289, also brought along two of her four chickens. Yes, that's right, chickens. In Monona. And the Sun didn't self-implode or the seas rise up and swallow us all. In Monona.

One of the Family Attraction Committee's goals with the Fall Festival was to keep costs low for all families. A hot dog and an apple for a buck? Can't get better than that. Thanks to Alderman Dennis Kugle, original member of the FARC who helped organize the Fall Festival! Dennis took over the whole vending operation this year, and with the help of Paul Kachelmeier, Susan Fox, Susan Manning, Kathy Thomas, Scott Munson, Paul Gavins and Doud Wood, manned the food stand all afternoon.

A great variety of fall crafts and games master-minded by Heidi Sigimund, as well as some great story-telling by master story teller, Monona Library Children's Librarian, Karen Wendt and her youth volunteers.

It was so cool to see a huge crowd of our city's police officers, firemen and EMTs lined up on Healy Lane with their vehicles! They all looked so welcoming and friendly! What a great representation of our city! As my mom always says, "only in Monona!".

Kids kayaking on the lagoon, courtesy of Rutabaga- so cool! I would love to see the city set up some sort of kayak or paddle boat rental in the lagoon. How awesome would that be in the summer? We could even run a Canadian Goose-watching tour in the spring and fall (joke).

A petting zoo sponsored by Prairie Grove Orthodontics. Thanks to Dr. Dan and Valerie Drye!

Balloon creations by Tami of Funny Faces 4 Kids, sponsored by Klinke Cleaners!

Monona Public Library's Andy Nath and his spectacular band, the Banned Wagon. Dancing ensued.

ALPACAS from Forest Academy Alpacas!

My awesome parents, who helped out herding kids at the pumpkin scavenger hunt again this year, holding a tiny pumpkin dressed as my daughter.

Deb Hansen of Simply Wisconsin graciously donated two huge CSA shares as the festival door prizes. The winner of the vegetable share is Nicole Rosenthal and the winner of the meat share is Michael Quieto. Thanks so much, Deb! Too bad it would have seemed slightly suspicious if I had won either one of the shares, maybe next time I can finagle it.

The Herald-Independent's Update on Negotiations

9/27/2010 4:02:00 PM

Deadlocked teacher contract negotiations likely headed for arbitration

Adam Mella, Managing Editor

Read all of our district's news at the Herald Independent website. Now.

Teachers in the Monona Grove School District have been working without a contract since June of 2009, and it seems very likely that a resolution will only be reached through an independent arbitrator, both sides concede. Negotiations on a new contract have been deadlocked for much of that time, as the Monona Grove Education Association (MGEA) (representing the teachers) and the School Board have struggled to find common ground on the future of retirement benefits.
Teachers say the school board’s “attacks” on those benefits are unacceptable, and that the board didn’t even offer some other form of compensation in exchange for those proposed reductions.
The school board, on the other hand, says that current retirement benefits for Monona Grove teachers are vastly more generous than neighboring districts, and that sky-rocketing healthcare costs make those benefits unsustainable.
Both sides have agreed to meet with a mediator on October 26, but neither the teachers or the school board appear ready (or able) to budge from their positions, and so, an arbitration hearing remains the most likely outcome.

Read this rest of this article at

For more information on the current negotiations, you can visit the MGEA website at, or the school district website at

And don't forget to click here about a million times.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monona Family Fall Festival This Sunday!

The Monona Family Fall Festival will take place this Sunday, September 26th at the M.Y.Dream Park/ Winnequah Park from 2 to 5pm. Bring a sack to cart off your treats in!

The Pumpkin Hunt begins at 2pm SHARP! at the Dream Park. Stay for music from the Banned Wagon, balloon creations, storytelling, crafts, local vendors, kayak rides, petting zoo, pony rides and games!

Win a pool pass! Win a CSA share! Have a caramel apple blossom! Eat a hot dog! Run a three legged race with your bestfriend! Pet an alpaca!

Study: Teachers Bonuses Fail To Boost Test Scores

From the Wisconsin State Journal- Dorie Turner:

Offering big bonuses to teachers failed to raise students' test scores in a three-year study released Tuesday that calls into question the Obama administration's push for merit pay to improve education.
The study, conducted in the metropolitan Nashville school system by Vanderbilt University's National Center on Performance Incentives, was described by the researchers as the nation's first scientifically rigorous look at merit pay for teachers.
It found that students whose teachers were offered bonuses of up to $15,000 a year for improved test scores registered the same gains on standardized exams as those whose teachers were given no such incentives.
"I think most people agree today that the current way in which we compensate teachers is broken," said Matthew Springer, executive director of the Vanderbilt center and lead researcher on the study. "But we don't know what the better way is yet."
The study comes as the Obama administration encourages school systems to link teacher pay and tenure to how students perform on tests and other measures of achievement.
The researchers looked at fifth- through eighth-grade math teachers from 2007 to 2009. A group of about 300 teachers started out in the study; half were eligible for the bonuses, the other half were not.
The bonuses were given out based on improvements in scores on Tennessee's standardized exam, which is used by the state as part of the federal No Child Left Behind requirements.
Springer was quick to point out that his study looked only at individual bonuses, not extra pay doled out to teams of teachers or an entire school. He said more research is needed.
"Some people were initially disappointed when they saw the results, but quickly turned around and said, 'Well, at least we finally have an answer,'" he said. "It means pay can't do it alone."
The U.S. Education Department called the study too narrowly focused.
"It only looked at the narrow question of whether more pay motivates teachers to try harder," said spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya. "What we are trying to do is change the culture of teaching by giving all educators the feedback they need to get better while rewarding and incentivizing the best to teach in high-need schools, hard-to-staff subjects."
The American Federation of Teachers praised the study and argued that teachers need other resources, including better training and more supportive administrators.
"Merit pay is not the panacea that some would like it to be. There are no quick fixes in education," said union president Randi Weingarten. "Providing individual bonuses for teachers standing alone does not work."
Teachers unions have historically opposed merit pay, arguing that test scores are not an accurate measure of student achievement, that financial rewards could pit teachers against each other, and that administrators could use bonuses to reward favorites and punish others.
Jennifer Conboy, a high school social studies teacher in Miami, called merit pay a "baseless fad."
"Merit pay is an excuse to resist the attempt of teachers to get fair pay in the first place," the 37-year-old Conboy said. "On a personal level, merit pay would do nothing to me. I took this job because I think education is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and if I cared about democracy _ which I do _ then I had a responsibility to do whatever I could to strengthen education."
Only a few schools and districts across the country have merit pay, and in some states the idea is effectively illegal. The Obama White House hoped to encourage more states to pass merit pay laws with its $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" grant competition.
Some states tried to enact merit bonuses for teachers, but most, like Georgia, were unable to get the necessary laws passed. Colorado passed a controversial law that ties teacher pay to student performance and allows the state to strip tenure from low-performing instructors, but the state did not win the Race to the Top grant money it was counting on to help carry out the law.
Only about half of the 300 teachers originally in the Nashville study were left at the end of the three years because some retired, moved to other schools or stopped teaching math. About 40 teachers got bonuses each year. Overall, the researchers said, test scores rose modestly for both groups of students during the three-year study, suggesting that the financial incentives made no difference.
"It's not enough to say, 'I'll pay you more if you do better.' You've got to help people know how to do better," said Amy Wilkins, vice president of the Education Trust, a Washington think tank. "Absolutely we should reward them once they do better, but to think merit pay alone will get them there is insane."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Looking To Buy 4/4 Violin

I have heard it said that I often have disturbing images on my blog. This image is personally pretty disturbing to me, but it also reminds me that I need to buy a nice 4/4 violin for my son. Does anyone have one in the back of their coat closet that they're looking to unload?

Monday, September 20, 2010

So Who's Eating School Lunch These Days?

As you may remember, the Board unanimously approved contracting with the Chartwells School Dining Services for district food service operation and management in June of this year. The contract will be a year long, giving the district ample opportunity to evaluate it's merits.

Thoughts on the topic from Board President Susan Fox's Board update on Board business at the time:

Committee members believe that this arrangement will provide financial stability and even profitability, capture the benefits of pricing through a large company, build upon and provide education for students with regard to nutrition and healthy eating habits, address changes in eating preferences for students while providing more fresh fruits and vegetables, increase participation, and provide on-going staff professional development training for all food service employees, among other benefits.
While we'll have to wait to see the financial impact of contracting with Chartwells over time, it's not too soon to find out how the kids like their meals. I have heard several comments that the meals are too small and cost too much. MGHS students miss the taco and pasta bars. My second-grader, a normally die-hard hot lunch eater, has taken a sack lunch to school since the second week. I would love to hear more comments about the state of the lunch tray. Parents?

You can find more information on Chartwells at

Friday, September 17, 2010

The State Superintendent's State of Education Address.

From Jim Lynch, Association of Wisconsin School Administrators.

State Superintendent Tony Evers presented his State of Education address at the State Capitol in Madison. In his address he outlined policy recommendations in four areas:

1. The DPI budget recommendations will include financial support for districts to provide the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment for students in grades three through eight, and the EXPLORE/PLAN/ and ACT assessment series at the secondary level.
State support for assessments yielding data to improve teaching and learning is a wise investment in these difficult economic times. We commend the State Superintendent on his recommendation and will strongly advocate for this to remain in the next State Budget as it moves through the Legislative process.

2. The State Superintendent challenged the leadership of the associations for school boards, administrators and teacher unions to develop a vision for an educator performance system that improves student learning and informs professional development.
AWSA accepts this challenge. Today, the issue of how to attract, retain and develop school leaders is the focus of federal and state policy makers and a host of foundations. It is critical that the perspective of practicing school leaders is considered in this discussion. AWSA, is developing recommendations on policies that we believe will strengthen the profession. Our Representative Council will discuss draft recommendations and provide suggestions on there development at its meeting on October 27th. If you are interested in serving on the Representative Council please email Robin Herring. In addition, we will be asking for your help in better determining the current state of principal evaluation in Wisconsin by completing an online survey this fall.

3. The State Superintendent reiterated his commitment to leading school finance reform during the next Legislative session.
We thank the State Superintendent for making school finance reform a priority. We are proud members of the School Finance Network and will be active in advocating for long-term, sustainable improvements to Wisconsin’s school finance system.

4. The State Superintendent outlined a series of proposals related to college and career readiness, including:• Requiring at least 21.5 credits for graduation;• Making dual enrollment options available throughout the state;• Making it easier for high school students to take college level courses;• Developing a “test out” option for 11th and 12th graders who demonstrate readiness for success in post secondary education.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Monona Public Library Hosts Breast Cancer Programs Supporting Survivors and How to Talk to Children about Cancer

The Monona Public Library, 2010 Wisconsin Library of the Year, invites the public for a free two-part program from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the library, 1000 Nichols Road, Monona.

Talking to Children: What if Mom, Dad, or Grandma Has Cancer? runs from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. and focuses on resources and tips for discussing cancer with children from preschool age through young teens. This program is open to all and targeted to day care providers and parents or caregivers who have cancer or who have another family member with cancer. Continuing education credits are available.

Someone You Know Has Cancer: What Can You Do? follows from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. This discussion and question and answer session brings together cancer survivors and representatives from local breast cancer programs. There will be refreshments and door prize drawings featuring a Grand Prize donated by The Boston Store and additional certificates by many local retailers.

This program is scheduled during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and highlights the library’s Susan G. Komen for the Cure Special Collection of breast health and cancer treatment materials. The collection is funded by a Susan G. Komen for the Cure-Madison grant. The books, DVDs and other materials in the collection are housed at the Monona Public Library and available for checkout through all 52 libraries in the South Central Library System. Call the library at 608-222-6127 for additional details.
The Monona Public Library, Wisconsin 2010 Library of the Year, is a member of the South Central Library System and a LINK member library providing access to nearly 3 million items representing 790,000 different titles. The library is operated by the City of Monona to serve its community and the residents of the South Central Library System, which includes Dane, Columbia, Green, Portage, Adams, Sauk and Wood counties. For information, visit

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Couple of Fall Festivals in the District:

I love just about everything autumnal. The colors, the crisp air, the school supply shopping, the massive collective death of mosquitoes, not feeling like the entire interior of my house has been coated in the rubber cement-like sheen of humidity. I especially love the many fall events that take place when people get off their Jet-skis, put away the lawnmower, rinse off the chlorine and get down to business.

The deadline for registration for the 28th Annual Monona Grove Businessmen's Association Chili Cook-off is this Friday, September 17th. The event itself will be held at 10am on October 2nd at the AmericInn, 101 West Broadway. For more information click here.

And there's more than just chili... Lioness Raffle and Bake Sale, Classic Car Show, Pony and Horse Rides, Face Painting, Live Music by Chameleon (Classic Rock), Food (Chili, Chili Dogs, Hotdogs, Brats and Snacks), Beer, Soft Drinks, Bottled Water, Babcock Hall Ice Cream

After the chili cook-off, stop by on October 2nd for the annual Cottage Grove PTO Fall Festival. The Festival, a long-time community favorite and phenomenal fundraiser for our kids and community schools, will be held at Taylor Prairie from 10 am - 4 pm.

Taken from Cottage Grove Elementary PTO President Jennifer Pickel's blog:
"There will be games, food, a silent auction and, back by popular demand - a raffle. There will also be a Silly String Corral where kids and teachers will be able to have a good-natured silly string fight! The Monona Grove football players will be running a football toss game and the Monona Grove Pom Squad will be painting faces from 12-3. The EMS team will also be on sight to do some community education! New this year will be themed baskets created by each classroom. These baskets will be available at the Fall Festival, so be sure to come on over and check them out!!This year, the Cottage Grove PTO will continue it's campaign to raise money for Smart Boards. Please mark your calendars and join us for this fantastic event!! See you then!!"
The Cottage Grove PTO has already provided numerous Smart Boards to our schools through their wonderful fundraising. Thank you for all that you do!

Please plan on attending the Monona Family Fall Festival on September 26th at Winnequah Park from 2 to 5pm. This will be the third year that the Monona Family Attraction and Retention Committee has organized this event and it has steadily grown in both size and popularity. I am particularly excited that this year we will be having free hand-led pony rides throughout the park! Who doesn't love a pony ride?

The Festival will begin at 2pm sharp at the M.Y. Dream Park for a pumpkin scavenger hunt. Don't be late or you will miss out on all the fun! Afterward plan to stay to enjoy many local vendors, music from Monona Public Library's Andy Nath and his band the Banned Wagon, storytelling by Monona Children's Librarian Karen Wendt, balloon animals, a petting zoo and fall crafts and games. We are also pleased to have Rutabaga giving kayak rides on the lagoon this year. And back by popular demand: the alpacas from Forest Academy Alpacas! Check out the festival on our city website .

The rain location is the Monona Community Center, but we're not even going to think about the possibility of rain. Not gonna happen.

Negotiations With The MGEA

An Update from the Monona Grove Board of Education Regarding
Negotiations between the Monona Grove Education Association (MGEA)
and the Board (September 15, 2010)

When did current contract negotiations start?
Negotiations began with an exchange of initial proposals on February 17, 2009. The initial proposals of the Board of Education and the MGEA are linked here.

When did the current contract expire?

The collective bargaining agreement between the MG Board of Education and the MGEA expired on June 30, 2009. However, during “hiatus,” the period between expiration and agreement on a new contract, the terms of the most recent contract constituting mandatory subjects of bargaining and which do not specifically sunset by their own terms remain in effect. Mandatory subjects of bargaining are defined, generally, as those items which primarily impact wages, hours, and conditions of employment.

Are teacher salaries “frozen” during this “hiatus” period?

No. Although the applicable salary schedule is subject to change only through negotiations, teachers receive increased pay in accordance with that schedule for each year of teaching experience in the District and attainment of professional development, both of which provide for increased salary during the contractual “hiatus.”

What is meant by “working to contract?”

Teachers voted in May, 2010, to “work to contract” in an effort to bring pressure on the Board of Education to settle the negotiations. “Working to contract,” in contrast to engaging in a “strike” which remains illegal for public school teachers in Wisconsin under most circumstances, means that teachers engage in concerted activity to perform only mandatory duties associated with their respective positions. Generally, teachers refuse to participate in voluntary activities such as extra committee work. In addition, they may decide not to attend student concerts or athletic events to support their colleagues and students unless assigned to do so.

Many teachers are paid additives to coach various athletic teams or advise student clubs. These kinds of activities continue because teachers are under contract and paid specifically for this work. Also, teachers’ presence at school open houses and at monthly staff meetings is required under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. Job descriptions, Board policies, rules and regulations, faculty handbooks, student handbooks, evaluation criteria, past practices regarding expectations of duties in the District, among other things, all assist in determining the difference between mandatory and voluntary duties.

The decision by the teachers to “work to contract” is by no means a universal union strategy;
in fact, it is our understanding that teachers and other represented employees in the majority of districts do not elect to engage in such activities.

How do these negotiations work?

After the exchange of proposals occurs at a public meeting, negotiations sessions are closed. The MGEA is represented in these sessions by their bargaining team of teachers and their attorney. The School Board is represented by the Superintendent and the Board’s attorney.

Meetings are scheduled according to the ability and willingness of members of both bargaining teams to meet. When agreement has been reached on all proposals, which may include some proposals being dropped, the final agreement is approved by the MG Board of Education and by the MGEA.

If no agreement is reached, a mediator may be called in to help with the negotiations. If the mediator is unable to help both parties reach agreement, either party may file a petition for arbitration. The mediator now becomes an investigator who continues to work with the parties to reach settlement. If settlement is not reached, the investigator will conclude that impasse has been reached and will certify a final offer from each party. These final offers will then be submitted to the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC). A list of arbitrators is generated by the WERC, and each side alternatively strikes names from the list until one remains. That arbitrator will schedule an arbitration hearing, read briefs submitted by attorneys from both sides, and issue a decision. The decision will be to accept one party’s proposal in full. There is no combining of features from each.

Where are we in the process?

A number of meetings have been held since February, 2009, and tentative agreement has been reached on some items. However, the “big” items of base salary and post-employment benefits remain unsettled, along with some other issues. We began working with a mediator last March, and the School Board has now filed a petition for arbitration. While some issues may still be resolved, we basically await the request for and certification of final offers, the selection of an arbitrator, and the hearing date.

Why don’t School Board members participate in negotiations sessions?

Board Policy 185 and Board Rule 185 describe a standing Negotiations Committee, to be composed of no more than three Board members and no community members. Previous Boards have expressed a willingness to participate if the MGEA would agree to use a consensus bargaining model. However, that model is not being used, and the Board at the time current negotiations began, in February, 2009, voted not to participate directly in the negotiations sessions. This could change for the next round of negotiations, which is currently scheduled to begin in February, 2011.

How much do teachers make? What benefits do they receive?

Teachers are paid a base salary determined by their years of experience as well as degrees and other college credits earned. Each year of experience moves a teacher up a step on the salary schedule, (see linked document; note this document shows the “effective” schedule, incorporating hiring stipends described below) and each twelve college credits earned or master’s degree or PhD moves teachers horizontally across lanes. Teachers are obligated to maintain their respective certifications through DPI requirements or negotiated requirements, depending upon the teacher’s licensure status.

As a result of negotiations for the 2007-2009 collective bargaining agreement, the “effective” salary schedule (see link) for teachers in the District reflects a stipend being added to all cells in all columns at Steps 1 through 5. Therefore, the actual starting salary of a newly hired teacher in the District, with a bachelor’s degree and no previous experience, is $31,400, and the actual starting salary of such a teacher with a master’s degree with no previous experience is $34,940.

Under current contract language, the District can give credit for up to three years of actual previous teaching experience to a newly hired teacher in the District. In other words, effective with newly hired teachers in the 2008-2009 school year, a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and three (or more) years of prior teaching experience is hired at Step 4, at a salary of $34,243.

The other substantial change which took place for all teachers with regard to the 2008-2009 salary schedule was the modification of the longevity provisions to include an experience increment raise for each year that the teacher continues to be employed in the District.

Note that the step and lane on which each teacher is placed on the schedule gives only the base salary for that teacher. Benefits paid by the District currently include full health insurance premiums and annual retirement contributions, including the employee share, to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) equaling 11% of the teacher’s earnings, as well as District-paid dental insurance premiums of up to 100% depending upon the dental plan selected. The District also provides life insurance protection and long-term disability protection for teachers, as well as payment of the employer’s share of FICA/Medicare payroll taxes.

Teachers may earn additional pay for coaching, advising clubs, and directing various co-curricular activities, monitoring after-school detention centers, substituting for absent colleagues during prep periods, etc., in addition to the salaries quoted. Note that such activities are beyond the normal 7 ½ hour (excluding the 30 minute duty-free lunch) workday.

When all of the above is taken into account, the average teacher’s salary in the District in 2008-2009 was just over $49,000. The average teacher district-paid benefits for 2008-2009 totaled almost $21,000. The resulting total salary and benefit cost, on average, was slightly more than $70,000 per teacher in 2008-2009. These averages are taken from costing documents typically reviewed by the parties during negotiations.

What was the QEO? What has been the impact of its elimination?

The QEO, or Qualified Economic Offer, became law in 1993 as part of an attempt to control property tax increases. The idea was that the QEO could enable a school district to avoid arbitration on economic issues if, after attempting unsuccessfully to reach settlement, it offered its teachers a total salary and benefit package of at least 3.8% over the prior year. All existing fringe benefits were required to remain, and the employer’s percentage of contribution toward such fringe benefits had to stay the same. With the increase in health insurance costs, it was possible that a package increase of 3.8% could mean no salary increase, since health insurance costs had to be covered.

Teachers’ salary and benefit increases were never limited to the QEO. Rather, a district could impose this package settlement if it chose to do so. Many districts continued to negotiate package increases higher than the QEO rate of 3.8%.

In the current economic climate, the elimination of the QEO (effective with negotiations for the 2009-10 school year) has not led to higher settlements than while it was in existence. In fact, during the time the QEO was in effect, teachers’ bargaining units tended to view “imposition of the QEO” as punitive, tended to view the QEO 3.8% total package increase as a “floor” for settlement, and many settlements were higher than the 3.8% total package increase.

Did Monona Grove ever impose the QEO?

No. The MGEA and the Board have always reached voluntary settlements throughout the entire period that the QEO was in effect.

What are the sticking points in the current negotiations?

Post-employment benefits and the salary-benefit package are two big items on which there is no agreement. Current post-employment benefits for teachers include a payment of a stipend (Teacher Emeritus Program (TEP)) which is equal to a teacher’s highest annual salary and is paid out over a period of three years in equal installments. In addition to this and to the regular monthly pension benefit received by the teacher from WRS, full health insurance and the major share of the cost of dental insurance are paid by the District until the retired teacher reaches the age of 70. In the event of the death of the retiree prior to reaching the age of 70, the surviving spouse continues to be eligible for the District’s group health insurance coverage until the date the retiree would have reached age 70 at the retiree’s spouse expense.

The School Board’s current proposal for post-employment benefits is proposal #6 in the Initial Board of Education Proposals to the Monona Grove Education Association (linked here). There is no corresponding initial or counter-proposal from the MGEA; its position is to maintain the existing benefits described in the previous paragraph.

The School Board’s current salary and benefit package proposal (see link) is an increase of 3.90% for 2009-10 and 3.70% for 2010-11. The MGEA’s current total package proposal (seelink) is an increase of 5.35% for 2009-10 and 5.28% for 2010-11 and includes an average teacher salary increase of 4.21% for 2009-10 and 4.07% for 2010-11. These percentages reflect what’s known as “cast forward” costing and do not include the cost of horizontal lane movement on the salary schedule or the post-employment benefit costs of retirees.

Is the Board trying to alter the post-employment benefits for teachers who have already retired?

No. In fact, the current Board proposal preserves the current negotiated benefits for teachers employed during the 2008-2009 school year and within ten years of retirement.How do Monona Grove salaries and benefits compare with other school districts in the area?
Although the Board has attempted to engage the MGEA in a study which would lead to the restructuring of the salary schedule in such a fashion as to make the hiring rates more competitive with area school districts, the hiring stipend agreement has helped in that regard. The remainder of the current salary schedule structure is very competitive, especially the feature that allows teachers to receive salary increases for each year of experience without “maxing out” at the top of a schedule as teachers in many other area districts do. District-paid Wisconsin Retirement Systems (WRS) contributions, health, and dental insurance premium benefits are among the highest in the area. The post employment benefit is, by far, the highest in the area.

Monona Grove Board of Education

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Please Get Out The Cottage Grove Community Playground Vote! It Will Probably Be The Easiest Vote You Cast All Year!

From an email from Deb Uschan:

With your dedication and support, we can make this happen! Plus, our new partner alliance "Win4Kids" will multiply our voting power! We have promised to vote for them and they have promised to vote for us. We'll draw more votes this way and we'll all improve our chances to win grants from Pepsi in September. Please continue to vote daily and text vote as well!

Click to Vote:
1. Vote Online
2. Text Pepsi at 73774 with the CG KIDS' PARK code 100296 and then text on behalf of our partners too:
Playground by the Sound: 100542Children's Rainbow Retreat: 100864ASCS: 101491Imagination Station: 101137Adams 12 Five Star School District: 101867 St. Peter's School Eagle Scouts 100012Landon's Lookout 100024Autumnwood Care Center 100232
3. Vote via Facebook
Thank you for your enthusiastic support. Spread the word and get out the vote!!!
For more information,
visit the website.