School board OKs long list of possible partners

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

— The Janesville School Board has recently changed the wording of a new policy so it could approve a new kind of partnership called a strategic alliance.

Tuesday, the board approved a list of companies, schools and universities with which the district might form an alliance.

A strategic alliance is a deeper, longer-lasting relationship than many partnerships the district now has with many organizations, Superintendent Karen Schulte has said.

As expected, the list includes schools in China, where Schulte has visited twice in recent months to set up exchanges of students and educators.

The list comprises many local businesses and other organizations, some of which have not been contacted, Schulte said. Some of the entities listed might not even be interested in forming a partnership or strategic alliance.

Board member Peter Severson asked if Schulte would ask for further board approval for specific alliances with any of the entities on the list. Schulte said no.

Severson said he would like to know about the purpose and plan for any alliance.

Schulte said the policy states she must keep the board informed about such alliances.

"OK, I will sit and watch, I guess," Severson said.

Schulte said if any board member has a problem with any of the entities on the list, they should let her know as soon as possible.

Board member David DiStefano asked whether any local business would be excluded on moral grounds. He noted the board members might differ on what constitutes a reason to exclude a business.

Schulte said yes. The district does not get involved with businesses that promote alcohol consumption, for example.

After the meeting, Schulte said the list satisfies the policy's requirement that she get board approval. The list does not include every potential partner, Schulte said. She hoped that any organization interested in a special partnership to benefit the school district would contact her.

Some on the list had been recommended by Forward Janesville, the local business promotion association, she said.

The list includes: ANGI Energy Systems; AMTEC; The Gazette printing plant; Lanair; United Alloy; Prent Thermoforming; Simmons; North American Pipe; Mercy Health System; St. Mary's Janesville Hospital; Best Events Kandu Industries; and various schools and universities in China.

Also on the list are PDS; Boardman & Clark, the law firm that provides labor-law services to the district; Nasco; AMP Electric; Angus Young Architects; Bandt Communications; Foremost Media; Halverson Carpet; Bjoin Limestone; Brennan Steil law firm; Nowlan & Mouat law firm; Rock Road Companies; and SHINE Technologies.

Wisconsin educational institutions listed include Blackhawk Technical College, Beloit College, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Madison, UW–Milwaukee, UW–Rock County and UW-Whitewater.

The board approved the list unanimously.

Last updated: 8:11 am Monday, April 29, 2013

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