Administrators are concerned about a potential state budget repair bill that could cut funding to K-12 schools, though Gov. Tony Evers told the Cap Times last week he’s hopeful such a measure can be avoided amid lower than anticipated revenue for the state. The budget Ruppel recommended Monday would save $8.4 million from what has been previously discussed, mostly through cuts to wage increases to save room in case such a bill is approved.
“Pause on any new spending in order to maintain the most flexibility until we know more,” Ruppel said.
If the previously planned increases in base wages and the “steps” on the district’s salary structure were maintained, as many as 92 school-based staff positions could be cut, according to the presentation.
If a state budget repair bill did not come to fruition or there was additional funding from the federal government, raises could be reinstated before the final budget approval, while reinstating the positions in the middle of the school year would be more challenging.
Ruppel also offered expense-saving possibilities of keeping five vacant central office positions open for a savings of $500,000 or more as well as a pause on Strategic Equity Projects like a new reading curriculum and increases to School Security Assistant pay, saving up to $550,000.
Board member Savion Castro said he was supportive of Ruppel’s recommendation among the options presented Monday night, although he acknowledged it was not a good choice to have to make. Most others expressed a similar sentiment.