Cuts Outlined During School District Meeting
OnFocus – School District of Marshfield voters are facing a referendum on the November 3 ballot. If approved, this referendum is recurring and permanent – meaning that the district is seeking $3.5 million each year on a recurring basis. In the past two decades of elections, voters have only passed non-recurring referendums.
Property owners would see the school district portion of their tax bill go up by 21 cents per thousand of assessed value if the referendum is approved. After Wisconsin capped levy limits in 1993, referendums have been enacted to exceed state-imposed revenue limits.
The ballot asks: Shall the Unified School District of Marshfield, Wood, Marathon, and Clark Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $3,500,000 beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, for recurring purposes consisting of sustaining educational programming and operational and maintenance expenses?
At their October 14 meeting, Marshfield school officials identified which items would be cut if the November 3 referendum is not approved.
“The reductions list that you see here, if the referendum were to fail, unfortunately includes a pretty substantial reduction in staffing across the board,” said Superintendent Dr. Ryan Christianson. “Ultimately, what this culminates in is larger class sizes, fewer staff to meet the needs of kids in our schools. To not have this pass would be a reduction in programming and staff having more students that they need to address and meet the needs of.”
The budget cuts include 37 budgetary line items, amounting to $3.5 million (which is the amount of the requested referendum). Administrative and District level staff would have wages frozen. Cuts include removing the district’s gifted & talented coordinator, a full-time social worker, a full-time school counselor, drivers education, the foreign language with the lowest enrollment (French), plus reductions to the Family and Consumer Education and Career and Technical Education departments.
If the referendum failed, middle school sports would be replaced with an intramural program. Low-enrollment AP and honors classes would be consolidated by one FTE. The cuts would also reduce the technology budget by $70,000 and the athletic budget by $25,000. See the chart for the full list:
More information is available at the School District’s website HERE.
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