By a board vote of 6-1, the West Bend School District Superintendent's Preliminary Budget for 2010-2011 passed. Dave Weigand was the lone No vote. The budget, which grew to $79,348,067 from last year's budget of $73,000,000.00, passed with budget "reductions" of 1,420,792.00 to make the current preliminary budget $77,927,275.00. This budget presupposes a maximum levy tax increase of over 8% (wasn't last year's levy increase 10.3%?)
Due to the late hour, I'll close with comments from board members and the Superintendent:
Joe Carlson: This budget is a sheared sacrifice of a budget.
Randy Marquardt: The teacher's contract took away any discussion from the board's hands. The $600,000.00 of cuts had to be put back into the budget. Because teachers salaries make up 85% of the budget it is the only place we can cut, and the union took that away.
Dave Weigand: Basically we are told if we don't spend money we won't have it later. This mentality is epidemic in school districts across the state.
Todd Miller: [Teacher] negotiations are tough. (From me: I don't doubt they are!)
Pat Herdrich: The leadership team will not make the recommendation to under-levy.
We are a low spending district (that was stated several times as well as comments about state funding favoring the most affluent communities)
Mrs. Herdrich also mentioned wanting to get waivers from the state to allow the district to opt out of unfunded mandates. That confused me because she is always saying she wants to increase programming.
I give accolades to Mclane principal Andy Kasik. He leads his staff in high expectations for the students there. More on that tomorrow.