Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Madison School Referendum Returns: Revenge of the Fringes!

by Tom Bozzo

Brief assessment: rapidly growing, quasi-suburban Madison likes overcrowded schools! Either that, or they don't want to subsidize new Fitchburgers. Here's how the city voted on question 1, authorization of the new elementary school at the Aldo Leopold site. (This school serves parts of the south side as well as several Fitchburg neighborhoods.) Red areas voted for the referendum, blue areas against.

Amusingly, the two most property-rich jurisdictions outside the city more-or-less canceled each other out. Shorewood Hills voted just over 2:1 for the question; Maple Bluff voted almost the identical margin against. The Fitchbourgeois themselves were almost evenly split.

That is a cool map! Your choices for red wards vs blue wards are interesting.

Maybe Madison's famous 70 square miles are being closed in upon by reality...
The mundane reality of the color choice is that ArcView has a canned blue to red gradient but not red to blue.

I can see the east side vote as a matter of self-interest: they had nothing directly at stake except the money. The southwest is less clear, since all the south side schools stand to be subject to district changes and greater crowding. Given that the better districts (Franklin/Randall, Van Hise) arguably command house price premiums, it's hard to see the possibility of suffering a crowded-school discount being worth the $25/year.
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