Members of the Wauwatosa School Board on Monday again credited district employees for making sacrifices to help the district present a balanced budget for 2011-12.
The board, on a 6-0 vote, approved a financial plan that calls for $8 million less in spending in the next school year. Board member Sharon Muehlfeld was excused from the meeting.
Wauwatosa was able to bridge the gap thanks to concessions from all its employees. Union and non-union employees alike will see a pay freeze for 2011-12, and employees will have to pay more toward their retirements and participate in a high-deductible health care plan.
Board member Phil Kroner said the district's administrators worked hard to develop a budget in light of the massive cuts in revenue authority that were part of the state's 2011-13 biennial budget. He also praised the employees for making sacrifices to help bring a balanced budget to the district.
Thanks to the hard work of administrators and the concessions by employees, next school year will look "virtually the same" as last year, he added.
"I'm really happy that we have the budget that we have, and what's most important is that when the students come to school in the fall, school's going to look the same," he said.
Next year will see some changes in staffing and programming, however, such as the elimination of full-time librarians in the district's elementary school. Wauwatosa also plans to introduce new offerings, such as an elementary Montessori school and Spanish instruction for first- through fifth-graders.
The Wauwatosa School District will spend $81.3 million in 2011-12, a nearly 9 percent decrease from the $89.2 million the district spent in 2011-12. That includes $1.6 million in spending by the Wauwatosa Recreation Department, which is part of the district.
The tax levy will go from $43.7 million to $43.6 million, meaning the school portion of district residents' tax bills should stay about the same or decrease slightly assuming their home's assessment hasn't changed.
The budget will not be finalized until October, when state aid, revenue cap and enrollment figures are known.
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