UPDATE: MMSD Board approves 2012-13 budget - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: MMSD Board approves 2012-13 budget

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education has voted to approve a revised version of Superintendent Dan Nerad's 2012-13 budget.

That budget, first introduced in April, includes Nerad's biggest project: the achievement gap plan.

Board members spent more than four hours debating what amendments and proposals in the budget they can reasonably afford to move the district forward, without putting too much strain on the taxpayers.

They heard public comment from people like Kaleem Caire, the president of the Urban League of Madison.

Caire urged the board to approve the budget to move the achievement gap plans forward, despite knowing the project's main author is leaving the district. Nerad announced in March he would retire as superintendent.

"We will continue to push the need to focus on these issues in our community, but practically speaking, given the leadership change that we have we really do need to focus on that," says Caire.

Some board members were concerned about how the district would pay for some of the bigger ticket items on the list, like 4-year-old kindergarten and maintenance on the aging district buildings.

After voting on more than 40 amendments, board members finally voted to approve the budget. The plan will increase the tax levy by $12 million. That's a 4.9 percent increase on property taxes for the average Madison resident.

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MADSION (WKOW) -- The Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education plans to meet Monday night for a preliminary vote on the proposed 2012-13 budget and Superintendent Dan Nerad's achievement gap plan.

Nerad introduced the first version of the $379.2 million plan back in April, which attempts to tackle the achievement gap between white and minority students.

Since then, the board of education has submitted some cost-saving amendments. The revised budget up for approval will cost $374 million, including $4.4 million focused on the achievement gap.

Monday night, they'll hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. before making a preliminary vote.

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