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First Graders in Decline

By: Paige Lambrecht
By: Paige Lambrecht

The Wausau School Board has just approved $1.5 million in budget cuts. One reason for the reductions may be the declining number of first graders.

According to the Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance, the number of first graders is down in three out of four districts in the state. Since state funding is tied to enrollment, many schools like Wausau area catholic schools are facing difficult choices to stay out of the red.

Holy Name principal Jeanne Lang says, "Our largest expense, as in any school, is our employees, so we've also cut back in that area."

The declining number of first graders began about ten years ago, and many experts predict the trend to continue for several more years.