The Madison School Board called Monday for the U.S. Air Force to reconsider stationing F-35 fighter jets at Truax Field unless negative effects identified in a draft environmental impact study are found to be significantly misrepresented.
The board presented the resolution, which has a position similar to one the Madison City Council took last week, but did not take an official vote on it since there was a consensus among the members that they supported the resolution’s language.
“The issues identified in the draft (environmental impact study) will negatively impact learning in our schools, reduce the property tax base, decrease school enrollment in the affected area, and disproportionately affect children and families of color and people with low incomes,” the resolution said.
The environmental study found more than 1,000 homes near the Dane County Regional Airport, where Truax Field is located, would be subjected to higher daily noise averages, affecting a disproportionate number of minority and low-income residents.
As many as 10 schools could be subject to higher noise levels, city leaders have said.
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Supporters of bringing the F-35s to Madison, which is one of two preferred locations nationally, say the jets would ensure the long-term viability of Truax Field, which is where the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing is stationed. The public comment period on the environmental impact study is scheduled to close Friday.
In other action, the School Board approved a 2.44% base-wage increase for district employees, which is the highest allowable bump this year under state law.
Last week, the school district and the teachers union, Madison Teachers Inc., reached a tentative agreement to provide a 2.44% bump to base wages, an increase from a previous district offer of 2.32%.
About $400,000 is needed to cover the 0.12 percentage-point gap.
Aside from base-wage increases, district employees, on average, are expected to receive an approximately 2% pay bump through the district’s salary schedule, but the union has said about a quarter of employees won’t benefit from the salary schedule this year, including some of the lowest paid.