Wausau School Board Discusses Budget Cuts

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

The Wausau School District must deal with at least a $1.6 million budget shortfall for 2011-2012. But if Governor Scott Walker's budget proposal passes, the district could have to slash up to $5.1 million dollars.

Monday night the school board met to discuss how to tackle the $1.6 million shortfall.

Anticipating a large crowd due to an open forum for the public to weigh in on the Governor's budget repair bill and budget proposal, the meeting was moved to the gymnasium at Riverview Elementary.

Because the Wausau School District isn't certain exactly how much state aid will be cut under next year's budget, Monday they concentrated on cuts the district had projected last year.

The proposal is preliminary, but include saving $780,000 in retirement of instructional staff, eliminating 12 assistant coaching positions and cutting building budgets to all schools by eight percent among items.

Board members and district staff spoke on Governor Walker's budget repair bill and proposed budget, and so did members of the public.

"Mr. Walker refers of the tools he's giving municipalities with the passage of his budget repair bill. He never said what these tools are but I have figured it out. The tools are the ability to further cut teachers pay and benefits," said Lenore Rusch, a Wausau resident.

Only two Wausau residents spoke to the board, and both expressed opposition to Walker's proposal.

The board also weighed in on a possible resolution in opposition to Governor Walker's proposed budget, but sent it to committee.

Meanwhile, Wausau teachers could be just a day away from a new collective bargaining agreement with the school district.

A special school board meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday at noon.

School officials say they plan to ratify the agreement.

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