April 9, 2013

Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bryan Ruud presented a $49.75 million draft budget for 2013-14 at the April 9 School Board meeting. Assumptions made in preparing the first draft of the budget were:

  • Student enrollment would not change;
  • State aid will increase by $75 per student; and
  • Property value in the district will remain at current levels.

Ruud said it was the first time in 20 years of preparing budgets that he is not predicting a student enrollment increase. While Marcy Elementary School enrollment continues to grow, that is not the case in other areas of the district. Subdivisions that were built about 20 years ago are not turning over bringing in new students to the district that would be expected in a better economy.

In Wisconsin’s 2013-15 biennium budget, Governor Scott Walker proposed no revenue limit increase for school districts. Two Republican Legislators proposed a $150 per student increase. The district’s budget splits the difference at $75 per student. If Walker’s proposal is approved, the district would need to reduce another $339,750 from the budget, but if the Legislators’ proposal goes through, the district will have $339,750 to restore some cuts and cover contingency issues.

Even the best case scenario for revenue limits in the 2013-14 budget would not keep up with cost-of-living increases. Superintendent Kathleen Cooke noted that the cumulative gap between district revenue caps and the Consumer Price Index and Qualified Economic Office factors since 2002 has been more than 27 percent.

Property owners will see a two cent increase in the mill rate from $10.40 to $10.42 per $1,000 of property value. The impact for local taxpayers will be a $2 increase for each $100,000 of property owned.

Local property taxes continue to pick up a bigger share of the school budget compared to state support. The local levy will cover 57.11 percent next year compared to 56.57 percent this year while state aid drops from 40.40 percent to 39.57 percent.

The School Board will vote in May on the final budget that will be presented at the Annual Meeting scheduled for June 17, a date that could be changed if the state funding plans are not clear.

Board takes action on personnel business

In personnel business, the School Board:

  • Approved the resignation of Hamilton Associate Principal Keith Nerby who was selected to be the Burlington Karcher Middle School principal effective July 1;
  • Appointed Murrene Payton, Daniel Tackes and Steve Akin as assistant summer school coordinators;
  • Appointed Amy Werwie as the Marcy reading specialist effective Aug. 21; and
  • Modified Maple Avenue guidance counselor Colleen Casper’s contract from full-time to 80 percent due to enrollment shifts at that school.