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Tosa gets look at proposed schools budget

June 15, 2011

Wauwatosa residents would pay about the same in school taxes as they did last year, under a budget proposed to the Wauwatosa School Board on Monday.

Overall, the district would spend nearly $8 million less than it did in 2010-11, with much of that savings coming from salary freezes for all employees, who also would participate in a high-deductible health care plan and contribute more toward their retirements.

That would help offset a drastic reduction in per-pupil taxing authority, a proposal that is part of Gov. Scott Walker's 2011-13 biennial budget.

Wauwatosa's total expenditures would be $81.3 million in 2011-12, an 8.9 percent decrease from the $89.2 million the district spent in 2010-11.

Those expenditures include money spent by the Wauwatosa Recreation Department, which is part of the school district.

The total tax levy would be about the same, going from $43.7 million last year to $43.6 million in 2011-12. That should mean the school portion of residents' property taxes should either be constant or decrease slightly, Finance Director John Mack said, but the final figures won't be known until enrollment and state aid are finalized this fall.

Superintendent Phil Ertl said next year's budget includes the largest expenditure reduction "probably in the history of the school district," but, thanks to the concessions from the district's employees, he is "beyond optimistic and I guess pretty excited about what we're going to do with this money that we have."

The School Board will vote on the budget June 27.

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