Portage Community School District, Wisconsin
|Transparency grading process|
- Main article: Evaluation of Wisconsin school district websites
- School board members contact information posted.
- School board meeting agendas and minutes posted.
- Administrative officials with contact information posted.
- Staff directory posted.
- Budget not posted.
- Tax levy information not posted.
- Vendor/employee organization contract information not posted.
- Audit reports not posted.
- Policy/procedures on access to public records not posted.
- Policy on background checks on new hires not posted.
The school board is comprised of a superintendent and "such other officers as the legislature shall direct." The superintendent is appointed by the state legislature in the same manner as members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The superintendent can hold office for 4 years. According to the state constitution the board of education may not prevent a non−union teacher from speaking of a bargaining issue at an open meeting, as was ruled in the U.S. Supreme Court case Madison School District v. Wisconsin Employment Commission.
Below are the school district board members:
|School board member|
|Steve Pate, President|
|Kristen Skolarz, Vice President|
|Russell Schieber , Treasurer|
|Rita LaVigne, Clerk|
- Note: Information about the current contract in Portage Community is not disclosed on its website.
The Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) helps to negotiate contracts with the teacher's union, the Education Association of Wisconsin. The website for WASB pitches "professional" assistance on collective bargaining agreements, policies, salary ranges and fringe benefit data as well as past court information.
Annually, WASB publishes its current legislative agenda, which it separates into state and federal issues.
The largest concern at the state level is financing for the schools. WASB noted that the state budget deficit is $5.4 billion, which is near the total spending on education in the state. Therefore WASB asked that the state renew its commitment to paying 2/3 of the education costs in the state without raising property taxes, as they increased on an average of 4.9 percent between 2000 and 2005. In 2007, the school property taxes rose to 7.4 percent, which was the highest since 1992-3.
For state aid and funds WASB asks for:
- Coverage of 33 percent of the costs for bilingual-bicultural programs
- Full state funding for special education programs
- Funding to reduce the achievement gap between low income children and other children
- Fully funding the existing "sparsity aid" program
Other aspects of the money constraints include the declining enrollment of students which is placing many school boards into tight budgets. As such they are proposing:
- School boards be allowed to increase their revenues by 2 percent about current limits
- Set the low-revenue ceiling at 100 percent of the statewide average cost per pupil
- Extend the hold-harmless revenue limit adjustment for two more years (currently one year)
The WASB also calls for a more individualized assessment of students than the current Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) and online testing.
Below are the administrative staff members and their 2010 pay:
|Full Name||Position Title||Prorated Salary||Prorated Fringe|
|Jeannine Cummings||Director of Special Education||$87,613.00||$30,848.00|
|Assistant District Administrator||$96,737.00||$32,525.00|
|Peter Hibner||Director of Instruction||$104,215.00||$33,896.00|
|Charles Poches||District Administrator||$135,221.00||$39,582.00|
|Brian Seguin||Assistant Principal||$72,278.00||$28,565.00|
|Susan Connor||Director of Instructional Technology||$74,826.00||$29,090.00|
- Note: Budget information for Portage Community is not disclosed on its website.
For fiscal year 2008-2009, $9.10 was levied in property tax for every $1,000 of equalized property value, an increase of 5.69% over fiscal year 2007-2008.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction provides a SDPR (School District Performance Report) for each district, which tracks achievement test results (grades 3, 4, 8 and 10), ACT and AP exam scores, retention rates, attendance, dropouts and truancy, among other measures.
The below chart shows the number of students in Portage Community who scored advanced or proficient in each subject for 2009-2010, with the statewide figure in parentheses:
|Grade||Reading||Language Arts||Mathematics||Science||Social Studies|
|3rd grade||80.0% (79.2%)||-||-||-||-|
|4th grade||82.6% (81.4%)||81.5% (77.3%)||84.2% (80.5%)||80.4% (77.0%)||95.1% (92.5%)|
|8th grade||86.0% (84.0%)||67.5% (64.5%)||89.8% (78.0%)||89.8% (80.0%)||86.0% (80.8%)|
|10th grade||74.4% (76.3%)||70.3% (68.3%)||68.7% (69.8%)||73.3% (71.6%)||72.3% (74.7%)|
The below chart shows ACT and Advanced Placement test results for 2008-2009:
|Test||Number of Students Tested||Percentage of Students Tested||Composite Score (ACT)||Pass Percentage (AP)|
"Wisconsin's inter-district public school open enrollment program allows parents to apply for their children to attend school districts other than the one in which they reside." All students may apply to attend a different school district outside of their resident area. While they can request to attend a specific school, assignment to that school is not guaranteed even if their application is accepted, as the students apply to the school district, and not individual schools.
Students may also apply to attend virtual charter schools through open enrollment by applying to the non-resident district in which the virtual charter operates. However, Wisconsin state law "limits the number of students that may attend virtual charter schools under the open enrollment program." Students may be placed on a waiting list for virtual charter schools.
- Portage Community School District
- Wisconsin Association of School Boards
- Portage Community School District - GreatSchools.org
- ↑ Board members contact info.
- ↑ Board meeting agendas and minutes
- ↑ Administrative officials with contact info.
- ↑ Staff directory
- ↑ Wisconsin Constitution,"Article 10, Section 1," retrieved July 9, 2009
- ↑ Wisconsin Constitution,"Article 1, Section 3," retrieved July 13, 2009
- ↑ Board members
- ↑ WASB, Employment and Labor Law services
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Wisconsin Association of School Boards: Legislative Agenda, accessed October 22, 2013
- ↑ Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Statistical Information Center - School Staff and Salary Data
- ↑ Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction, School Finance Data Warehouse, School District Profiles
- ↑ Wisconsin District and School Performance Reports
- ↑ 2009-2010 Wisconsin School District Performance Report
- ↑ 2008-2009 Wisconsin School District Performance Report
- ↑ Public School Open Enrollment
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Basic Information about Open Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions