Monday, April 28, 2014

Courier Reports Jefferson County Voters have a Choice on the Madison Consolidated Schools' Referendum in the May Primary

Fromt the Madison Courier:

Most primary elections don't draw a large voter turnout, but the May 6 primary in Jefferson County might buck that trend.

Voters will be asked to help determine the path public education takes in the Madison Consolidated Schools for the next two decades by voting "yes" or "no" on a $40 million building renovation proposal.

The proposed project would refurbish two schools. Much of the debate comes down to the cost of the plan. 

With several nieces and nephews living in Madison, Sally Nay said she keeps up on the local schools. The lifelong Madison residents said she favors the referendum. 

Nay attended Canaan Elementary School before graduating from Madison Consolidated High School. Her daughter graduated from the high school in 2009.

Nay called reports of some of the problems at the school - a leaky roof and problems with pipes - "appalling."

Nay supports the referendum, but she also said she wants to support education in general.

"We have to support all our schools," Nay said. "We have to give our children the opportunity for a good education."

Mike Schafer supports the schools, but doesn't think the referendum is the right direction.

"Buildings are important," he said, "but we need to put the main emphasis on going to college."

Schafer has lived in Madison his entire life, except for 20 years spent in the military. He said making sure Madison's students are ready for life after high school should be the school district's primary goal.

He doesn't like how the school district has handled school maintenance in the past or how the building improvement plan was conceived.

"It should have come from the bottom up, instead of just coming from the group they set up (a building project task force)," Schafer said. He would have preferred more community involvement.

The plan created by the task force would close E. O. Muncie Elementary School and send students to Anderson Elementary School after a series of renovations. 

Extensive repairs, upgrades and additions would be made to Madison Consolidated High School.