Why Schools Are Worried About Shutdown Costs, Despite Secure Funding Sources

Despite its funding being locked in for the year, the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is only planning on paying its hourly staff for the first two weeks of the shutdown. It tells the MacIver News Service it’s for a good reason.

MMSD closed all its schools over the weekend in response to the spread of the Coronavirus. They could reopen as soon as April 6th, but that is subject to change. Most of MMSD’s employees will continue to receive their normal pay, but the district is not sure how long it can sustain that if it is expected to make the lost days.

MMSD has requested a waiver from the state excepting it from the required number of days of instruction. That is still pending. If that is not approved, school might be in session late into the summer. That would put the district in a tough spot, if it already paid its hourly employees during the shutdown and then has to pay them for that additional makeup time as well.,

“At this point we’re committed to supporting our hourly staff the best we can,” Tim LeMonds, MMSD Spokesperson told MNS. “But without those waivers we could be looking at deficits in the millions.”

LeMonds says MMSD and the school board will continue to adjust plans as the situation develops.

“This has certainly posed challenges that schools have never faced before,” LeMonds said.

DPI is currently developing a new waiver process to make it easier for districts to apply. The state hopes to have that approved and online within the next few days.