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Elmbrook School District braces for new state budget, potential $2.3 million deficit

Feb. 27, 2013

Elmbrook School District officials began preparing for the worst at Tuesday’s board meeting after Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his two-year budget plan last week in Madison.
Assistant Superintendent for Finance Keith Brightman said the revenue limits in the proposal could have the district facing a $2.3 million deficit next year.
“From my perspective, I see potential collective bargaining impacts,” he said.
Board president Thomas Gehl called the past two years “watershed times” because of how many changes to public education have occurred.
“Regardless of what one’s views are on the political spectrum, I think it’s fair to say that public education has had to adjust significantly across the state,” he said.
Walker’s $68 billion budget proposal provides only a slight increase to K-12 public schools, while increasing tax dollars to expand publicly funded private voucher schools to at least nine new cities.
Walker’s proposed increase in general aid for public schools would be about $129 million statewide.
For traditional districts like Elmbrook, per pupil spending would see no increase over the next two years.
The governor’s proposal offers a $64 million incentive for the state’s best-performing schools. Brightman said he would expect Elmbrook to qualify, but exactly how much money the district would get remains unclear, if not uncertain.
Actually, a lot remains unclear. It will be several more weeks until the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau — a nonpartisan agency of the state Legislature — provides its analysis.
The governor’s budget proposal still must pass the Legislature and be signed into law. Before ending back on Walker’s desk for approval, the budget likely will be modified.
Elmbrook Schools officials hope changes could mean an increase in per pupil spending. Board members announced at Tuesday’s meeting that they have planned a lobbying effort to sway state lawmakers.
The district will host two superintendent chats next month to help engage the public.

Get involved

WHAT: superintendent chat

WHEN: 9 to 10 a.m. March 7

WHERE:Brookfield East High School black-box theater

 

WHAT: superintendent chat

WHEN: 7 to 8 p.m. March 19

WHERE:Brookfield Central High School black-box theater

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